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Planetary Collision Theories- Help would be appreciated


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Another interesting idea - there is current discussion about Pluto's atmosphere at the moment, which reaches out about halfway to its satellite, Charon.

What is interesting is the speculation and discussion about whether or not it should have its designation changed from that of a dwarf planet, to that of a comet.

Veeery interesting. Turns out, the speculation is that when Pluto is furthest from the sun, the atmosphere is like a bubble, neatly surrounding it.

When it is closest to the sun, it has actually made it to a point where it is closer to the sun than Uranus, which is a pretty eccentric elliptical orbit.

Point is though, while it is doing that though, the solar wind has pushed Pluto's atmosphere into a long tail instead of a neat bubble.

Pluto is a decent size and is a fair way out by anyone's measurement, but what if, on its travels, Pluto's already eccentric orbit was disturbed by hitting an asteroid maybe a quarter of its size.

What if then, on its next orbit, its perturbed orbit means it is diverted sunwards by the gravitational pull of the other large planets, with whatever results you like.

http://www.universetoday.com/85071/more-surprises-from-pluto/

Just for reference.

Alan

Edited by inksmithy
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Dan- :) If you want, I'll let you teach me physics? I didn't take physics, because I was told it had heavy math in it, and... well, I took Algebra II twice before I passed it and... well. I'm a writer, not a mathematician. :eek: So, when it comes to math, I am quite literally dumber than a box of rocks. BUT, if you want to try and teach me some physics, I will be a rapt student. :eek: If not, you can just feed me cool stuff for my story on the honor system, since I'm too Layman to really know if you're pulling my chain or not. :)

Monty

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...there is current discussion about Pluto's atmosphere at the moment, which reaches out about halfway to its satellite, Charon.

What is interesting is the speculation and discussion about whether or not it should have its designation changed from that of a dwarf planet, to that of a comet.

Please! No more of this sillyness of "changing Pluto's designation". The really rubbish (and totally non-scientific) "definition" of planethood is so full of holes that it ranks right up there with the fools who said that: "African natives aren't really Human, so it's ok to enslave them!" back in the 1600's.

The definition for planethood is simple:

1. The planet must be "gravitationally spherical", that is, crushed into a spherical shape due to its own gravitation and weight, allowing for distortion of shape due to spin and centrifugal effects. We planetary scientist types call this Hydrodynamic Equilibrium.

2. The object must orbit a star (living or dead).

The IAU's nonsese definition just doesn't work in practice. For instance, if you swapped Jupiter and Pluto, Jupiter wouldn't have had enough time (or velocity!) to 'clear its orbit' and become a full fleged planet. Also, nothing out of our solar system meets the definition of "planet" and furthermore - it would be entirely impossible to determine the status of these bodies as per the IAU protocol. An "untestable" hypothesis is, by definition, non-scientific.

I will admit to you freely that my having personally know Clyde Tombaugh (A great American Astronomer and the discoverer of Pluto) does increase my ire at this - but that is a side issue. Anyone in my class who put forward such nonsense, claimed that it was "scientifically valid" and then decided that we should vote on the truth, would get an F in the class, and a kick in the pants on the way out the door. :)

I have no problem in classifying planets on a logical, testable theme. By composition, by size, by any physically discernable, testable criteria you choose. But any type of planet is still a planet. The statement that: "Pluto's not a planet, its a 'dwarf planet!" give me heartburn. It's as stupid as saying stuff like:

"The brown dog isn't a dog!"

Dan

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Any red giants close enough to cause us a problem if they go supernova any time soon and the rotational axis of the resulting pulsar is pointed our way? How about Betelgeuse?

Approx 640 light years away - not for some time anyway!

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Please! No more of this sillyness of "changing Pluto's designation".

Dan

Dan, I didn't say I agreed with it, only that I thought the discussion was interesting, if only because it drew attention to the peculiar changes in the "shape" of Pluto's already strange atmosphere.

As you implied, proper science isn't a democracy, it is ruled by facts.

I only included the discussion about it resembling a comet to provide body to the potential it offers as a destructive force.

Cheers,

Alan

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Sorry Alan,

Didn't mean to be grumpy about that - it's one of those topics that comes up in intro classes all the time, like: "I heard we didn't really land on the Moon...."

You are right, Pluto's atmosphere is very strange, I've heard that it pretty much freezes out completely during the Plutonian winter (about 220 years worth), then revaporizes in the "spring". I would think that if it would have an effect, the effect would be on Charon (only 20,000 km away) and we might have seen it by now.

As for gravitational resonance, Pluto is resonant with Neptune, but the 2:3 resonance means that whenever Pluto is in close, Neptune is on the other side of the sun and does not interfere.

Dan

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Try being married to a moon hoax believer - there are some questions she asks which I have to answer "because of science", purely because I know she doesn't really care about the answer.

Alan

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It might have gone nova 639 years ago, we wouldn't know until next year.

I've thought about that before, I guess that's true from earth, I assume Hubble would know earlier than us, but it's an interesting question - when it does go nova, how early will we find out??

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I've thought about that before, I guess that's true from earth, I assume Hubble would know earlier than us, but it's an interesting question - when it does go nova, how early will we find out??

Something that big, and relatively close, we would know right away! Even if it happened during summer and early fall when Orion is up in the daytime sky, this thing would be immediately obvious in the sky, and likely stay visible for weeks.

If it happens in the winter, the entire sky will be alight with it - it may even be brighter than the full moon for awhile! :D

Dan

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Something that big, and relatively close, we would know right away! Even if it happened during summer and early fall when Orion is up in the daytime sky, this thing would be immediately obvious in the sky, and likely stay visible for weeks.

If it happens in the winter, the entire sky will be alight with it - it may even be brighter than the full moon for awhile! :D

Dan

I am not very good at physics Dan so please excuse me, I just assumed that as it was 600 light years away it would take that long for any pyhsical manifestation to be noticed by us. in other words if we noticed tomorrow it had gone nova the actual event happened some 600 years ago. is that not right? and why not?

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Way off in the future man stars controlling weather, global warming etc. (fiction)

Changes to the earth's winds affect its rotation slightly (fact).

Changes to the rotation affect the magnetic core of the planet (at a stretch)

The magnetic field flips and causes chaos to nature and man. (plausible)

Man designs massive nuclear bombs to re flip the core (hmm?)

The plan goes wrong and we kill off the field for a while (OK maybe)

As luck would have it we get a small Solar mass ejection which wipe us out because we have no magnetic protection. (fact)

Add a love triangle and you are there.

You should watch Brian Cox's TV series as he explains various disaster that await us in simple terms.

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I am not very good at physics Dan so please excuse me, I just assumed that as it was 600 light years away it would take that long for any pyhsical manifestation to be noticed by us. in other words if we noticed tomorrow it had gone nova the actual event happened some 600 years ago. is that not right? and why not?

You are quite right. If we saw it go "pop!" tonight, the actual event had already happened there some 600 years ago, simultaneous with our 12th or 13th century, but it takes that long for the visible shockwave to reach us here. The whole 'time is distance' thing is the foundation of relativity theory.

Here on Earth, we date them from the first time we see them, like supernova 1987-a that happened in one of the Magellanic clouds. That had actually happened many thousands of years before, but the first possible time we could possibly know about it, was 1987, so that is how we date it. It would be very confusing to say that the "1987 supernova" was actually the "1263 AD supernova" or some such.

I hope that helps,

Dan

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Something that big, and relatively close, we would know right away! Even if it happened during summer and early fall when Orion is up in the daytime sky, this thing would be immediately obvious in the sky, and likely stay visible for weeks.

If it happens in the winter, the entire sky will be alight with it - it may even be brighter than the full moon for awhile! :D

Don't want to hijack the OP's thread, but would like to learn more about this, so will start a new thread.

Here's the new thread

Edited by MorningMajor
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I have no issue with Monty pulling the wool over our eyes.... id do the same for my book. Well tbh id prob just ask but thats coz i know you are all nice lol. Onyhoos, is there a section for this type of thing where writers can bounce ideas off of each other as i will probably need some help with my book. Mostly scifi but would like some truth in it (or thoretical physics should I say). Its a Doctor who book and have the base storyline and first chapter finished but will defo need help with a few things... it would be great to start something up????? What you guys think?

Duncan

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I have no issue with Monty pulling the wool over our eyes.... id do the same for my book. Well tbh id prob just ask but thats coz i know you are all nice lol. Onyhoos, is there a section for this type of thing where writers can bounce ideas off of each other as i will probably need some help with my book. Mostly scifi but would like some truth in it (or thoretical physics should I say). Its a Doctor who book and have the base storyline and first chapter finished but will defo need help with a few things... it would be great to start something up????? What you guys think?

Duncan

put it in the lounge section i'm sure people will be glad to help

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To all in this thread-

I'm sorry for not posting in here, but I do keep an eye on the thread. The things that come up are fascinating, and I'm keeping track. I just don't have anything intelligent to say in a reply due to my stupidity when it comes to physics. :D

I've got my ELE down, and it works. Thank you all for your wonderful input! You've all been a great help, and I can't thank you enough for helping me.

Monty

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