(ORDO NEWS) — In 1687, Isaac Newton published his great work, The Natural Philosophical Principles of Mathematics, which effectively synthesized his theories of motion, velocity, and gravity.
From the point of view of the latter, Newton proposed a means for calculating the force of gravity and predicting the orbits of the planets.
Astronomers later discovered that the solar system is just one small dot that revolves around the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
Occasionally, other stars will pass close to the solar system, which can cause a catastrophic jolt that can knock objects out of their orbits.
These “stellar flybys” are common and play an important role in the long-term evolution of planetary systems.
As a result, the long-term stability of the solar system has been the subject of scientific research for centuries.
According to a new study by a group of Canadian astrophysicists, the inhabitants of the solar system can be calm.
After running a series of simulations, they determined that a star would not pass by and disturb our solar system for another 100 billion years.
The study was led by Garett Brown, a PhD student in the Department of Computational Physics in the Faculty of Physical and Environmental Sciences (PES) at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
He was joined by Hanno Rein, associate professor of astrophysics (and mentor to Brown), also from PES at UT Scarborough.
An article describing the results of the research was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Journal.
As they pointed out in their paper, the study of stellar flights can reveal a lot about the history and evolution of planetary systems.
Much will have happened by then, and it is unlikely that humanity will witness such an event. Assuming we haven’t driven ourselves to extinction or left Earth to explore other areas of the galaxy, planet Earth is no longer habitable.
“Given that the Sun will expand and engulf the Earth in about 5 billion years, physical separation from other stars is not an issue that we need to worry about,” Brown said.
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