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Old September 27 2011, 11:11 PM   #1
Wanderlust
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Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

http://www.skymania....t-the-boot.html



Our Sun’s family of worlds houses four rocky planets and four giant planets. But what if there were once five giant planets? This is a likely situation according to computer simulations performed by David Nesvorny of the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado.

He explored thousands of possible scenarios of the dynamics of the early Solar System and found that the present configuration of planets is much more likely to be reproduced by the simulations if there were initially five giant planets instead of four.

The fifth giant planet most likely formed between Saturn and Uranus. “Given that this planet had mass comparable to that of Uranus and Neptune, and was originally located beyond the orbit of Saturn, it is more likely that it looked just like Uranus or Neptune,”
Prior to the fifth giant planet embarking on its journey into the unknown, it played a crucial role in the formation of our Solar System. “Before it gets ejected from the Solar System, the fifth planet has encounters with Jupiter and makes Jupiter jump,” says Nesvorny.

“This is believed to help the terrestrial planets. If Jupiter’s orbit evolved more smoothly, resonances would sweep through the inner Solar System, and the orbits of the terrestrial planets could become more eccentric, and be destabilized.” Thus if the fifth giant planet hadn’t been evicted then one of the terrestrial planets, including Earth, could have taken its place in outer space.
The recent discovery of free floating planets gives weight to this theory of a giant planet being ejected from the Solar System. Is one of these lone wanderers a former planetary neighbour of ours?
What a romantic thought.. i wonder where it is now.. It would be long gone, somewhere else in the galaxy entirely
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Old September 27 2011, 11:29 PM   #2
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

That is pretty weird to think about...a lone planet drifting through space, no star to orbit...
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Old September 27 2011, 11:53 PM   #3
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

In before someone says planet x
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Old September 27 2011, 11:55 PM   #4
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

Wanderlust wrote: View Post
http://www.skymania....t-the-boot.html


Our Sun’s family of worlds houses four rocky planets and four giant planets. But what if there were once five giant planets? This is a likely situation according to computer simulations performed by David Nesvorny of the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado.

He explored thousands of possible scenarios of the dynamics of the early Solar System and found that the present configuration of planets is much more likely to be reproduced by the simulations if there were initially five giant planets instead of four.

The fifth giant planet most likely formed between Saturn and Uranus. “Given that this planet had mass comparable to that of Uranus and Neptune, and was originally located beyond the orbit of Saturn, it is more likely that it looked just like Uranus or Neptune,”
Prior to the fifth giant planet embarking on its journey into the unknown, it played a crucial role in the formation of our Solar System. “Before it gets ejected from the Solar System, the fifth planet has encounters with Jupiter and makes Jupiter jump,” says Nesvorny.

“This is believed to help the terrestrial planets. If Jupiter’s orbit evolved more smoothly, resonances would sweep through the inner Solar System, and the orbits of the terrestrial planets could become more eccentric, and be destabilized.” Thus if the fifth giant planet hadn’t been evicted then one of the terrestrial planets, including Earth, could have taken its place in outer space.
The recent discovery of free floating planets gives weight to this theory of a giant planet being ejected from the Solar System. Is one of these lone wanderers a former planetary neighbour of ours?
What a romantic thought.. i wonder where it is now.. It would be long gone, somewhere else in the galaxy entirely
More likely, the guy's computer model needs work.
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Old September 28 2011, 12:01 AM   #5
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
That is pretty weird to think about...a lone planet drifting through space, no star to orbit...
Its actually estimated that there are a large number of these objects dotted throughout the interstellar medium. Way more than stars or brown dwarfs. Some form on their own inside a nebula and some are ejected planets.

Solar systems are chaotic at the beginning and it is likely a planet could be ejected from a system.
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Old September 28 2011, 12:36 AM   #6
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

Out of curiosity, do they say if that model takes into account whatever knocked Uranus on it's side? Potentially part of the same event perhaps?

Also: Yikes! Never mind impending doom from a rogue asteroid or comet, imagine if a rogue gas giant came zooming into the inner system. Get out of *that* one Michael Bay!
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Old September 28 2011, 12:46 AM   #7
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

No, but its a good idea worth investigating!
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Old September 28 2011, 12:55 AM   #8
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

Reverend wrote: View Post
Also: Yikes! Never mind impending doom from a rogue asteroid or comet, imagine if a rogue gas giant came zooming into the inner system. Get out of *that* one Michael Bay!
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Old September 28 2011, 01:02 AM   #9
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
Also: Yikes! Never mind impending doom from a rogue asteroid or comet, imagine if a rogue gas giant came zooming into the inner system. Get out of *that* one Michael Bay!
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Old September 28 2011, 01:21 AM   #10
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

Please, you know Bay would just blow up the dang planet. Maybe all of em!
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Old September 28 2011, 01:23 AM   #11
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

P0sitr0nic wrote: View Post
Please, you know Bay would just blow up the dang planet. Maybe all of em!
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Old September 28 2011, 06:13 AM   #12
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
Also: Yikes! Never mind impending doom from a rogue asteroid or comet, imagine if a rogue gas giant came zooming into the inner system. Get out of *that* one Michael Bay!
Michael Bay accepts this challenge.
Arthur C. Clarke mentioned the possibility of a rogue neutron star drifting into the solar system in Rendezvous with Rama. He had one astronomer briefly consider the possibility upon first sighting the rapidly rotating alien object. He mentions drawing the idea from another fiction writer, who slips my mind.
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Old September 28 2011, 12:40 PM   #13
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

Reverend wrote: View Post
Out of curiosity, do they say if that model takes into account whatever knocked Uranus on it's side? Potentially part of the same event perhaps?
I think it's pretty difficult to explain such a massive axial tilt unless Uranus collided with a planet of a comparable size.

I would be pretty surprised if planets weren't ejected from the Solar System. After all, at least some orbits ought to be unstable, and eventually would end up leaving the system, so it's likely that it happened. If you consider the recent estimations, you have about two gas giant ejections per star system.

Now, what would make me excited would be if the planet wasn't ejected during early formation, but later on, somewhere during recorded history, and we find a record of it somewhere somehow. I know, that's impossible, but I can dream can't I? Or... If the planet is still close enough that we could send a probe... Too bad that's even more impossible. But there's still the comforting thought that we might encounter a rogue planet from another star system.
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Old September 28 2011, 02:41 PM   #14
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

^I'd always heard the impact would only have been with a body about the size of Earth. I can only presume people much more clever than I have done the maths on this to come up with that. Still, I'd have thought a collision of two Uranus sized planets would either obliterate both bodies or fuse them
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Old September 28 2011, 02:54 PM   #15
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Re: Was a fifth gas giant ejected from the solar system?

Maybe, but it still has to be planet enough. So we have at least two planets that are gone/obliterated, one planet that didn't form at all, and now there's the possibility for one more that went away in one piece. And it's probably somewhere out there, so at least you have a story suitable for the Star Trek universe.
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