How do planetary bodies affect each other?

Josh

Champion Elect
What would happen if the sun suddenly disappeared, apart from the darkness and coldness? I'm guessing we'd crash into a different planet or the moon or something?
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
We would start getting attracted to the other planets mainly Jupiter and either start orbiting that or just crash into it, or we would become a rogue planet that just drifts through the universe without a home system...
 

Josh

Champion Elect
Well, I guess I should be happy that I'll be long dead before that ever happens :D

Btw, why mainly Jupiter? (sorry for being off topic)
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
Because Jupiter has the strongest gravity of all the planets, don't get me wrong our planet affects jupiter as well as it affects us so as it pulls us we pull it, my guess is that as the bigger planets are further out in the solar we would migrate outwards but it would depend on planetary positions at he time of the (Imagined) event.
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
Since Jupiter is always (I think) further from us than we are to the sun and it is very much smaller than the sun the gravity pull must be much less. So remove the sun and the earth will basically go on a straight line heading out of the solar system, as would all the other planets. It would then depend on their relative positions for what else would happen.

We could even finish up with the earth and Venus circling each other, although that is highly unlikely.
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
They could circle each other but they would still follow a straight line out of what was the solar system then they would encounter the asteroid belt which would also be doing god knows what.

It is an interesting question though, which could have a million answers...
 

LJKSet

Rookie
While Jupiter is the largest planet, it is a gas planet, so it´s mass is not as great as one might think. As gravity is directly related to mass, it is unlikely that Jupiter´s gravity would have any significant immediate attraction for the Earth due to the vast distances involved.

As the Sun is the centre of the solar system around which all other bodies orbit due to its immense gravity, if it was no longer there, there would not really be a solar system as we know it anymore. The planets would not continue their present orbits and would gradually drift into free space. If they got close to each other, local gravity would have its effect, ultimatley leading to collision.

I think.
 

sushifiesta

Champion Elect
Contributor
Mass of the Sun and the Planets relative to the Earth, sorted from largest to smallest:

Sun 330,000
Jupiter 318
Saturn 95.2
Neptune 17.2
Uranus 14.5
Earth 1
Venus 0.815
Mars 0.107
Mercury 0.0553

Depending on where the planets are in their orbit when the sun 'disappears' I think the most likely outcome is that in general the planets will drift apart, perhaps a few of the inner planets might end up orbiting each other or colliding. It's an 8 body problem though, which is very difficult/impossible to solve.

This really isn't on topic any more though.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
While Jupiter is the largest planet, it is a gas planet, so it´s mass is not as great as one might think. As gravity is directly related to mass, it is unlikely that Jupiter´s gravity would have any significant immediate attraction for the Earth due to the vast distances involved.

As the Sun is the centre of the solar system around which all other bodies orbit due to its immense gravity, if it was no longer there, there would not really be a solar system as we know it anymore. The planets would not continue their present orbits and would gradually drift into free space. If they got close to each other, local gravity would have its effect, ultimatley leading to collision.

I think.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

While gravity is by far the weakest force we know of, it is also the furthest-reaching, and while Jupiter isn't as massive as its volume suggests, it is still more massive than all the other planets and asteroids... combined.
 

sushifiesta

Champion Elect
Contributor
FB It's no longer classed as a planet, so yes, it has. I think it's technically a 'dwarf planet' now.

Incubus The electromagnetic force has the same range as gravity (technically infinite). You just don't see it act at such large distances because virtually all matter is electrically neutral.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
FB It's no longer classed as a planet, so yes, it has. I think it's technically a 'dwarf planet' now.

Incubus The electromagnetic force has the same range as gravity (technically infinite). You just don't see it act at such large distances because virtually all matter is electrically neutral.

----------------------------------------------------------------------


Aaah but that's that old quirk about the concept of infinity isn't it? You could say that the one has a further range than the other and you would be right. You could say the opposite and you'd also be right. Equally you could say you'd be wrong on both or either and you would still be correct about that too. :twisted::twisted::twisted:
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
If the sun were to instantly disappear, in theory all moons would continue to orbit their respective planets. The planets would most likely assume a straight trajectory from the instant the sun vanished, since its gravity no longer controlled their motion. The really large planets, especially Jupiter, would attract smaller nearby bodies thereby becoming centers of their own planetary systems. All of this is conjectural.

What I can say with certainty is that the prospect of having a heavenly body (such as Halle Berry's) in close proximity would have a profound effect upon me! ;)
 

sushifiesta

Champion Elect
Contributor
Mephistopheles

The chances of that are extremely small, I would say:
  1. By the time the planet reaches another star all humans would be dead, along with the rest of life. The nearest stars are about 5 light years away, you have to take in to account the relative speeds of the sun and the new star to figure out how long it would take for the Earth to get there but it's going to be at least tens of thousands of years. Probably more like hundreds of thousands or millions. During that time life has to survive in freezing temperatures with no light, maybe some bacteria would survive, but that's about it.
  2. When the star is reached it's just as likely that we end up crashing in to it rather than orbiting it. Bye bye Earth.
  3. If we do end up in orbit, the chances of it being an orbit that could sustain life as we know it is tiny. The Earth is the perfect distance away from the perfectly sized Sun at the minute. Maybe if humans survived they could develop some sort of technology to boost temperatures or something if the orbit wasn't perfect, but see point 1.
  4. If miraculously we end up with some life and in stable orbit around a new star, the aliens would come and destroy us.
Well wasn't that a load of doom and gloom...
 
Top Bottom