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Thread: Could Pluto and Neptune ever collide?

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    Question Could Pluto and Neptune ever collide?

    Could Pluto and Neptune ever collide? Do their orbits come close enough?

  2. 2010-Apr-21, 11:44 AM

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    No.

    Nick

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    Quote Originally Posted by banquo's_bumble_puppy View Post
    Could Pluto and Neptune ever collide? Do their orbits come close enough?
    Their orbits don't come close at all, and they're in a resonant relationship which means that they're never at the same distance from the Sun at the same time.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Theodorakis View Post
    It will cross Neptune's orbit again on Feb. 11, 1999 to resume its place as the ninth planet from the Sun for the next 228 years.
    Technically; that statement only stood for 7 1/2 years.

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    The harmonic relation is quite stable, but ever could be billions of years, so there is a very slight probability that a close encounter with a massive object from outside our solar, could result in a collision a few years or centuries latter. Neil

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Their orbits don't come close at all, and they're in a resonant relationship which
    means that they're never at the same distance from the Sun at the same time.
    They might not be anywhere near each other when they are the same distance
    from the Sun, but they have to be the same distance from the Sun at least
    twice in every Pluto orbit. Did you leave out a conditional?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    Did you leave out a conditional?
    I did.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Even if New Horizons becomes an unexpected impact mission () it will not alter the orbit to allow the creation of Nepto or Plutune.
    Last edited by George; 2010-Apr-21 at 08:40 PM. Reason: spellin'
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

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    Pluto's so small...Neptune is a gas giant. Wouldn't Neptune just swallow Pluto up if they ever did collide? Would Pluto begin to break apart from Neptune's gravity prior to, and then {slurp!} Pluto & Co would be devoured?
    Dip me in ink and toss me to the Poets.

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    I think that Pluto would only start to break into separate pieces a few minutes
    before it began to collide with Neptune. It would be a heckuva lot bigger splash
    than Shoemaker-Levi 9.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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    Though I've never plugged the numbers myself, I've read that Pluto actually gets closer to Uranus than it ever does to Neptune.

    A Pluto impact would be pretty spectacular, perhaps the most energetic impact in the Solar System in billions of years; wouldn't be surprised if it made Neptune temporarily bright enough to cast shadows back here. The planet would probably be unrecognizable for a very long time as the interior slowly cooled and settled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilzero View Post
    The harmonic relation is quite stable, but ever could be billions of years, so there is a very slight probability that a close encounter with a massive object from outside our solar, could result in a collision a few years or centuries latter. Neil
    Yes, for this reason, I think a better answer would be, they won't, but it isn't true to say that could never collide. Never is a very long time.
    As above, so below

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    I'd guess that Triton will hit Neptune, or break up, before there is even a remote chance of a disturbance causing Pluto's orbit to make a substantial change. And before that there will be an interaction - maybe a collision - between Triton and Proteus.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Yes, for this reason, I think a better answer would be, they won't, but it isn't true to say that could never collide. Never is a very long time.
    Not long ago a watched a program about space on discovery channel and their as I remenber whas something mentioned that Pluto and Neptune may collide someday, ofcourse not tomorrow not next year but in the future they may. Well maybe i remember it not exactly but i think it was something about this maybe this question may not be to the topic but may someone aswner me nice and clearly why Pluto is not counted as a planet?

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    Welcome to the BAUT forums, MarCn. Your question is indeed off-topic for this thread. It would be best and more appropriate to post your question in the Space/Astronomy Question and Answers forum. You might also wish to use the search function since there's been a fair bit of discussion on that very topic.
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