View Full Version : Wild and Crazy Multi-Planetary System Surprises Astronomers

2010-May-24, 10:50 PM
Astronomers are finding that not only are there a wide range of different extrasolar planets, but there are different types of planetary systems, as well. "We're not in Kansas anymore as far as solar systems go," said Barbara McDonald from the University of Texas' McDonald Observatory, at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Miami, [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/2010/05/24/wild-and-crazy-multi-planetary-system-surprises-astronomers/)

2010-May-25, 07:07 AM
Could that system be stable over time?

2010-May-25, 09:17 AM
One doubts any planetary systems are stable over time.

2010-May-25, 09:23 AM
I meant, systems like ours are obviously holding together for long enough for us to notice. The system in the article seems like it should fly apart very (relatively) quickly. I'm just curious if there is some sort of odd resonance that stabilizes it somehow, or if we happened to catch it in the small window that it could exist.

2010-May-25, 09:38 AM
Just makin' sure, I've communicated with people who profess some scientific knowledge yet had no idea a gravitational system is inherently chaotic.

Anyway, I'm sure the stability of such a system can be simulated tho not precisely calculated. Rather neatly circular orbits would, na´vely thinking, seem to indicate it's in a fairly stable state, with the aforementioned caveat that stable is as stable does in these cases.

2010-May-27, 04:38 AM
So...who is the exception? Us or them?

2010-May-27, 11:16 AM
Well, I do believe most observed planetary systems have been considerably more alike to ours than to this one. The astronomer interviewed in the OP article seems to concur. Obviously it can be a fluke or even a case of confirmation bias but one likes to thing that "law of averages" would work in our observations by now.