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What would happen in Planetary Collision?

  1. Apr 2, 2013 #1
    What would happen if two large planetary masses (such as our earth) collided by their poles (ie, north hits north)? Would the repellent magnetic force be negligible compared to the masses and gravity, or would the collision be altered or averted?
    Also, while I am thinking about it, what size and velocity thrusters/engines and there required placement, would we need to move Earth from its orbit?
    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2013 #2

    mfb

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    The magnetic field would be completely negligible. As a simple test, take a strong magnet and let it fall down. Do you note any effects of its magnetic field? Compared to a planetary magnetic field, the field strength in that magnet is of the order of 10 000 times stronger.

    Depends on the size of change you want, and the available time. Close fly-bys by asteroids look more reasonable with (extrapolations of) current technology. In general, think big. The earth has a mass of about 6000000000000000000000000kg...
     
  4. Apr 2, 2013 #3

    Drakkith

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    On a related note, would using thrusters within the atmosphere even do anything? It seems like you'd be pushing the ground one way and the air the other way, leading to no gain unless you were pushing air out of the atmosphere somehow.
     
  5. Apr 2, 2013 #4

    mfb

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    At a level where we use thrusters (reaching escape velocity!) to change the orbit of earth, lifting them above the atmosphere (with Space fountains, inflatable towers or just balloons) is probably not an issue :D. Alternatively, remove the atmosphere first.
     
  6. Apr 2, 2013 #5

    Drakkith

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    Dibs on the atmosphere. I have plans that require it...
     
  7. Apr 2, 2013 #6
    Oh, thanks! And that Space Fountain Idea sounds pretty cool.
     
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