Earth could leave the Solar System

At some point, the Earth could be thrown out of its orbit by a massive interstellar object, flying through interstellar space and entering the Solar System, passing close to the Earth. In this close encounter, known as a “flyby,” Earth and the object would exchange energy and momentum, and Earth’s orbit would be disrupted. If the object were fast, massive, and close enough, it could project Earth into a directed escape orbit outside the Solar System.

An idea from science fiction could become a reality in the future, according to different astronomers: our planet could get fired out of the solar system by the gravitational action of a massive interstellar object entering this sector of the Universe. The chances are slim, but the situation cannot be ruled out.

the expelled earth

According to a Article published in Live Science, a short story by author Liu Cixin titled “The Wandering Earth,” which originally ran in the Chinese magazine Science Fiction World in July 2000, explore this idea: recounts a scenario in which the Earth must be “forcibly” driven away from the Solar System using available technology, as the last chance to escape a solar flare that will destroy all terrestrial planets.

Beyond this fictitious idea, it is worth asking if at some point the Earth could really leave the Solar System as a result of some cosmic phenomenon. Matteo Ceriottian aerospace engineer and professor of space systems engineering at the University of Glasgow in the UK, explains in the Live Science article that this hypothetical scenario is highly unlikely, but that this does not mean that it is impossible. He even mentioned a concrete way for its realization.

Ceriotti indicated that the Land could get out of orbit as a result of the action of a high-mass interstellar object, which would enter the Solar System and graze our planet. The consequences of this face-to-face encounter between the two objects would include an exchange of energy and gravitational momentum, resulting in the Earth developing an escape orbit directed out of the Solar System, in case the “intruder” object were more massive than ours. planet.

clash of stars

For Timothy DavisSenior Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University, also in the UK, theoretically it is possible that the Earth could be expelled from the Solar System. Davis explained that although the planets currently maintain stable orbits around the Sun, if there were to be an encounter with another star, the gravitational interactions of these bodies could perturb these orbits, causing the Earth to be expelled from the Solar System.

For example, the star glise 710 it will approach the Sun in about a million years, but its action is unlikely to disturb the planets. It is that a flow of energy equivalent to sextillion megatons of nuclear bombs exploding at the same time is required to knock the Earth out of its orbit and expel it from the Solar System. A very unlikely scenario.

The collision with Andromeda

Despite this, there is another cosmic phenomenon that astronomers have detailed in different scientific studies, such as one carried out by the POT in 2012. A titanic collision between our galaxy, the Milky Way, with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, which according to researchers will happen within four billion years.

As part of this collision, the stars will be thrown into different orbits around the new galactic center. Simulations show that our Solar System and the planets and bodies that compose it they will be thrown much farther from the galactic core, with consequences still unknown. However, scientists believe that many planets could emerge unscathed from the violent collision.

In any case, if the Land left the Solar System, it is very likely that the vast majority of life as we know it disappears. Virtually all of the energy used by living organisms on our planet originates from the Sun, either directly or indirectly. Without that protective energy, our blue planet would become an inert, wandering fireball wandering aimlessly through space.


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