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Planetary orbit disruption by passing stars

  1. Jan 5, 2015 #1
    I read this interesting paper showing that in less than a million years, one star will fly past our Sun at a distance of about 0.13 light years [1]. How might I calculate the maximum disruption this could cause on the orbit of an object in orbit around our Sun, such as planets and comets?


    1. http://arxiv.org/abs/1412.3648
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2015 #2


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    You should be able to get a pretty good estimate by computing the tidal force resulting from the star at closest approach, multiplying by the approximate time of the encounter, and comparing to the momentum of the planet/comet/whatever.
  4. Jan 5, 2015 #3


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    Fantastic. Thank you for the link.
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