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On Introducing a Nano-Planet into an Existing Solar System

  1. May 19, 2012 #1
    Thanks again to all who participated in the Hand Grenade in Solar Orbit discussion. Here's a related question that was prompted in my mind from that discussion:

    Suppose we could magically insert a new nano-planet (we'll call it "Bob") into our existing solar system. Let's suppose that:

    1. Bob is 1/1000th the mass of the earth
    • Bob's orbit is in between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter (to be consistent with the hand grenade scenario)

    • Bob's orbit is roughly perpendicular to the general plane of the solar system.

    • Bob's velocity is what we would expect for an object in that orbit.

    QUESTIONS: If these were the conditions of the orbit into which we magically introduced Bob, should we expect to see changes to Bob's orbit over time? Would Bob eventually end up orbiting in or near the plane in which the other planets orbit?

    Thanks again for your willingness to discuss such topics with a novice who is trying to learn!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2012 #2
    I think it probably would, I mean if it were closer to Jupiter by a couple million miles than it would most likely (over hundreds or thousands of years) drift over to Jupiter to become it's moon.
  4. May 21, 2012 #3
    Thanks only to friction, I should note.
  5. May 21, 2012 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    I would say it is likely. In addition to Jupiter, it would have to worry about that pesky dwarf planet Ceres and large asteroids in the asteroid belt that it is going to travel through.
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