Can a stray star kick Earth out of the solar system?

BEIJING, April 10, Beijing time, according tomedia reports, the cosmic environment is very dangerous, any potential life of any planet will face a ubiquitous threat, they are likely to be completely expelled from the planetary system, the future of a stray star will be the Earth out of the solar system? Now, scientists say our planet is safe, and such disasters are almost impossible.

Can a stray star kick Earth out of the solar system?

The planets are kicked!

Gravity is a tricky thing, a planet orbits the host star smoothly for billions of years, and the warm light released by the star is likely to provide a breeding ground for the planet, but suddenly gravitational interference from other stars is likely to throw the planet into the interstellar abyss, making it doomed to wandering into galactic space, and any life on the planet will disappear quickly and permanently…

Gravity is very complex, when only two celestial bodies have the gravitational action of each other, for example: a large-mass star and a small planet, such a gravitational relationship is very simple, and the gravitational action is more stable, once a planet in such a stable orbit, it will run steadily for billions of years, without orbital deviation, its motion is like a huge hair-strip gear device, repeated over and over again.

What happens when another star enters the gravitational system? The result is a confusion of the gravitational system, which has even caused the original planetary system to collapse. Scientists have been trying for centuries to predict what the gravitational effects of two stars and a planet will be, but they have failed to find a gravitational balance, and any small deviation skew and movement of the three objects could change dramatically in a very short period of time.

In other words, this moment a planet looks very calm, for example: the Earth has been orbiting the sun smoothly for billions of years, once the next moment a star enters the solar system, the previously stable gravitational system will become precarious.

So far the Earth has been running smoothly, and the rest of the solar system is relatively small, and while they do distort and affect Earth’s orbit in some subtle way, they do not cause complete destruction or orbital instability. And for billions of years to come, as long as no major mass planet bursts into the solar system, such as a star passing through the solar system, the Earth will remain running smoothly.

Danger zone

Sometimes a star is too close to the solar system to be as annoying as someone getting up close and personal with us. As a star approaches the solar system, it changes the orbit of the Earth, and when the Earth and the star are so close, they get some energy from that star – a gentle gravitational pull that may not be strong, but year after year, the Earth will continue to be drawn by gravity, which will gradually deviate from the original planetary orbit, and the gravitational relationship with the sun will gradually weaken, eventually from the habitable zone of the solar system, threatening life on Earth.

With enough gravity, the Earth will be able to gain enough energy to escape from the sun’s gravitational pull, and disappear from the solar system “in an instant”.

Thankfully, this has not happened in the last 4 billion years, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future, and recently, two astronomers began simulating the effects of a star’s passing through Earth’s orbit, and they’ve studied all possible scenarios: stars of different masses enter ingress at different angles and speeds, predicting what will cause the Earth to break away from the habitable zone of the solar system and lead to the end of Life on Earth.

In general, the faster a star passes through the solar system, the better it is for the Earth, and for a star that passes the earth fast, it doesn’t have enough time to destroy the solar system’s gravitational system. If the star is at least as fast as the Earth orbits the sun (about 106,000 kilometers per hour), it must pass through Jupiter’s orbit in order to get the Earth out of its original orbit. Otherwise, its gravitational pull will not matter, but slow-moving stars will cause more trouble: they simply orbit the edge of the solar system slowly, causing a massacre of planets in the solar system.

Of course, the mass and angle of operation of the star are crucial factors, and if it is moving along the plane of the solar system, there will be more opportunities to get close to Earth, making us unstable, and if the star is less than twice the distance between the sun and Earth, then our planet could escape a disaster.

The earth is a survivor.

Using knowledge of the location, mass, and velocity of the closest stars, the researchers applied the results to nearby stars and found that in the past 4 billion years, there was only a one-in-15,000 chance of orbital instability on Earth, meaning that only one of the 15,000 Earth-like planets around the planet had suffered gravitational damage in the past 4 billion years.

But in the bulge region at the center of the Milky Way, things will get worse, with these stars 160 times more likely to have a gravitational catastrophe. In general, the Earth is safe, but it does provide important clues to the search for life on distant exoplanets. The central region of the galaxy is usually a hotbed of high-energy radiation and cosmic rays, and now we also know that the region is full of potentially deadly close-range collisions between stars, enough to knock potentially life-threatening planets into their orbits, and that if life occurs on a planet in the region, it will go through a difficult period. (Ye Ding Cheng)