Gravity Waves: Speed & Possible Outcomes

In summary, gravitational waves behave like waves and have a speed, which is the speed of light. If the sun were to suddenly disappear, the planets in our solar system would continue to move in their previous orbits until the effects of gravity reach them. It is not clear if two planets could collide or orbit around each other in this scenario. Gravitational waves typically occur around major events, but it is not possible for the sun to suddenly disappear, so this is not a relevant question.
  • #1
espen180
834
2
I heard somewhere that gravity behaves much like waves. That must mean that gravity has a speed, right?

Does that mean that is the sun suddenly dissapeared, the planets in our solar system would continue to move in their previous orbits until the end of the waves reaches them?

Then, if two planets by chance were properly alligned to each other, then one might start going in a straight live before the other, and the other, who is still moving in an orbit, moves in such a way that the two planets collide with one another or start to go in orbits around each other?
 
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  • #2
espen180 said:
I heard somewhere that gravity behaves much like waves. That must mean that gravity has a speed, right?

Yes, the speed of light.

Does that mean that if the sun suddenly dissapeared, the planets in our solar system would continue to move in their previous orbits until the end of the waves reaches them?

Yes, the effects of gravity take time to propagate.

Then, if two planets by chance were properly alligned to each other, then one might start going in a straight live before the other, and the other, who is still moving in an orbit, moves in such a way that the two planets collide with one another or start to go in orbits around each other?

It is not apparent to me that this would necessarily be a possible situation if the sun suddenly disappeared, but it's certainly not possible for the sun to disappear, so it's a moot question.
 
  • #3
I thought gravitational waves only occur around major events like two black holes colliding or super novae?
 

1. What are gravity waves and how do they differ from gravitational waves?

Gravity waves are a type of wave that occurs in a fluid medium, such as air or water. They are caused by the force of gravity on the fluid, and can be seen in things like ocean waves or sound waves in the atmosphere. Gravitational waves, on the other hand, are ripples in the fabric of space-time caused by the acceleration of massive objects, such as black holes or neutron stars.

2. How fast do gravity waves travel?

The speed of gravity waves depends on the medium in which they are travelling. In Earth's atmosphere, gravity waves can travel at speeds of around 700 km/h, while in the ocean, they can travel at speeds of up to 800 km/h. Gravitational waves, on the other hand, travel at the speed of light, which is approximately 299,792,458 meters per second.

3. What are the possible outcomes of a gravity wave?

When a gravity wave encounters an obstacle, it can either be reflected, refracted, or absorbed. Reflection occurs when the wave bounces off the obstacle, while refraction occurs when the wave changes direction as it passes through a different medium. Absorption occurs when the wave's energy is transferred to the medium it is travelling through.

4. Can gravity waves be detected?

Yes, gravity waves can be detected using instruments such as seismometers, which measure ground motion caused by gravity waves in the Earth's crust, or accelerometers, which measure changes in acceleration caused by gravity waves. However, detecting gravity waves is much more difficult than detecting other types of waves, such as electromagnetic waves, due to their small amplitude and short wavelength.

5. What impact do gravity waves have on our daily lives?

Gravity waves play a crucial role in many natural phenomena, such as weather patterns and ocean currents. They also have important applications in fields such as aviation, where they can cause turbulence and affect the performance of aircraft. Additionally, scientists are currently studying the potential use of gravity waves in areas such as earthquake monitoring and early warning systems for natural disasters.

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