Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is the sun anchored?

  1. Feb 23, 2009 #1
    By "Is the sun anchored" I am referring to its place relative to the planets.

    I am pretty sure the answer is yes, as the planets also exert a gravitational force upon the sun (Newton's third law). This would cause the sun to "move" somewhat, no matter how small the force exerted. Then again, I may be completely wrong. I think my general statement is right because I performed a few experiments online with a similar solar-system like structure.

    All feedback appreciated,


    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2009 #2

    Nabeshin

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Doesn't your logic show that the answer is no? If the planets exert a gravitational force on the sun, causing motion, then the sun wouldn't be anchored.
     
  4. Feb 24, 2009 #3
    Yes im pretty sure it does move but I wanted to make sure I was not misunderstanding Newton's third law or something of that nature
     
  5. Feb 24, 2009 #4

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Two objects orbit around their common centre of gravity - called the barycentre (or barycenter if you drive on the wrong side of the road)
    The Earth-moon barycentre is a point inside the Earth - about half way to the centre.

    For the sun all the planets in the solar system have their own effec ton the position and so it is complicated to work out and is constantly changing - but ALMOST all of the effect comes from Jupiter, the sun-jupiter barycentre is just outside the sun's surface so the sun isn't really at the centre of the solar system.
     
  6. Feb 24, 2009 #5
    Thank you very much! I'll have to investigate barycentres more
     
  7. Feb 24, 2009 #6

    tony873004

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  8. Feb 25, 2009 #7
    Wow Tony, I investigated the site and found it to be very informative. I was surprised at the order of effects, thanks for sharing the url with me.
     
  9. Feb 25, 2009 #8
    The other online models you refer to in the OP most likely did fix the position of the sun at the center. This is a decent approximation and makes the math much easier. But these are just little java programs, not experiments.
     
  10. Feb 26, 2009 #9

    Mentallic

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Is the sun anchored?
  1. The Sun (Replies: 3)

  2. The sun (Replies: 17)

  3. The walking sun (Replies: 5)

  4. Sun or sol? (Replies: 4)

Loading...