Trojan Collision

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

I ran across the idea of ‘Trojan asteroids’ and ‘Lagrangian Points’ when googling info on our asteroid belt. This phenomenon was new to me but then again I know very little about astronomy. Anyway, it had me wonder about a recent thread on the formation of our moon and how unlikely it would have been for earth to smash into another large object along its orbit.

My question is; could our early earth have shared an orbit with a Trojan planetoid whose Lagrangian position was disrupted enough to send it on a collision course with eath?

CJ
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
chemisttree
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Search term = Theia

Answer = yes
 
  • #3
chemisttree
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The Giant Impact Hypothesis has this as one of the ways a large object could strike the Earth and form the Moon. A large object residing at either lagrangian L4 or L5 could be slightly perterbed in its orbit and either slow down or speed up relative to the earth. Most of the orbital elements would remain very close to those of the Earth but the relative velocities would be such that this large body (Theia) would either slow down and strike protoearth or speed up and eventually overtake it.

It seems to me that this scenario is much more likely than to have a planetesimal come in from a very different orbit or an oblique one and strike protoearth.
 
  • #4
Thanks for the Reply Chemisttree.
Incidentally I am researching some information on Uranus for an artwork project and ran across the idea than Urnaus hasn't always been in the orbit it is now. I think it was mentioned that it had moved from the inner solar system outwards... makes me wonder if this migration might be the cause of many things in our solar system.
 

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