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Gravity wells determine orbital plane?


DeckerdSmeckerd
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Would it make sense that if a second or third gravity well were to affect the planets in our Solar System, the orbital planes would be oriented toward them? For example, they might align with the center of the galaxy, but if a new gravity well came closer it might affect Pluto earlier than the others? (or to a greater degree to begin with.) Smaller objects like comets might even be affected to a greater degree to begin with. However, how long they have been in the solar system would be a factor of their plane too.

Edited by DeckerdSmeckerd
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3 minutes ago, Bufofrog said:

Do you mean like we were in a binary star system?  

I don't know. I don't have any images of a binary star system with planets to look at. I don't know how that works. I had a fleeting thought that we might be in a binary system with a black hole, perhaps one way off, but I don't have any reason to believe that. It just popped in for a second. However, we might be going past a black hole but not be in a direct relationship with it. It doesn't have to be a black hole. Just a gravity well. 

In principle though, seems like planets would want to travel in the direction of a primary gravity well and the next strongest gravity well or between the primary and a combination of the forces of multiple secondary gravity wells.

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I believe the orbital plane is a hold over from the accretion disc that formed the planets.  I think that if an object with a stars mass came close enough to the solar system it could disrupt the orbits of the planets but not realign the orbital plane.  There also is no indication of a blackhole near us.

 

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Recent discovery:

Now scientists have discovered the system is even weirder than they thought. Researchers measured the orbit of the innermost planet, HD 3167 b, for the first time — and it doesn’t match the other two. It instead orbits in the star’s flat plane, like planets in our solar system, and perpendicular to HD 3167 c and d. This star system is the first one known to act like this.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/06/science/perpendicular-planets-star-system.html

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54 minutes ago, swansont said:

Recent discovery:

Now scientists have discovered the system is even weirder than they thought. Researchers measured the orbit of the innermost planet, HD 3167 b, for the first time — and it doesn’t match the other two. It instead orbits in the star’s flat plane, like planets in our solar system, and perpendicular to HD 3167 c and d. This star system is the first one known to act like this.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/06/science/perpendicular-planets-star-system.html

I'd like to read that but I don't have a subscription. The New York Times comes up in my feed occasionally. You find it useful? I can see the top lines where it says it indicates a mysterious, undetected force. That's pretty much the sort of thing I am talking about, except they might mean something else besides a gravity well. A gravity well would affect them all, you would think. How fast it is an observable effect on each planet might depend on the characteristics of the planet and system. 

1 hour ago, Bufofrog said:

I believe the orbital plane is a hold over from the accretion disc that formed the planets. 

 

The last I heard that is the most widely accepted theory.

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Gravity wells are spherically symmetric, and don't impart any particular orientation to orbits.
Conservation of angular momentum is what determines orbits and planes.

That being said, multiple gravity wells, depending on configuration of course, will affect orbits and their planes.

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6 hours ago, MigL said:

Gravity wells are spherically symmetric, and don't impart any particular orientation to orbits.
Conservation of angular momentum is what determines orbits and planes.

That being said, multiple gravity wells, depending on configuration of course, will affect orbits and their planes.

How would someone check if our solar system's plane intersects with the galaxy center. I looked at TheSkyLive.com and it appears to, but there is probably a better way.

I suppose the gravitational force of the galaxy center could be extremely high because we don't know how much matter is in it. 

I assume it exerts on the whole galaxy. Even at our distance, it would pull on our Sun and its planets. 

So do you or does anyone know how to verify that?

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6 hours ago, DeckerdSmeckerd said:

How would someone check if our solar system's plane intersects with the galaxy center. I looked at TheSkyLive.com and it appears to, but there is probably a better way.

I suppose the gravitational force of the galaxy center could be extremely high because we don't know how much matter is in it. 

I assume it exerts on the whole galaxy. Even at our distance, it would pull on our Sun and its planets. 

So do you or does anyone know how to verify that?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2018/08/30/our-motion-through-space-isnt-a-vortex-but-something-far-more-interesting/?sh=1edacf3d7ec2

The Solar System moves through the galaxy with about a 60° angle between the galactic plane and the planetary orbital plane.

 

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21 minutes ago, swansont said:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2018/08/30/our-motion-through-space-isnt-a-vortex-but-something-far-more-interesting/?sh=1edacf3d7ec2

The Solar System moves through the galaxy with about a 60° angle between the galactic plane and the planetary orbital plane.

 

if you drew a plus sign on our orbital plane and one line is 60 degrees in respect to the galactic plane, I wonder where the other line in the plus points in respect to the center of the galaxy. I assume he means that the plane is at 60 degrees in the direction we are traveling. I could be wrong about what I think he means but he doesn't say it is at 60 degrees toward the center.

 

Super interesting article. Thanks for that.

edit: I also wouldn't want to disregard the 60 degree angle. I would want to look along that plane all the way in a circle and see if there are any other gravity wells. 

I also would like to draw a line through the perigee and aphelion of the planetary orbits and see if there is anything out there in either direction. Of course, I don't know if these things change over thousands or millions of years as we revolve around the galaxy center, so if they are attracted to gravity wells, they might shift between different wells during the revolution.

Edited by DeckerdSmeckerd
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On 11/19/2021 at 1:21 AM, DeckerdSmeckerd said:
On 11/19/2021 at 1:21 AM, DeckerdSmeckerd said:

I'd like to read that but I don't have a subscription. The New York Times comes up in my feed occasionally. You find it useful? I can see the top lines where it says it indicates a mysterious, undetected force. That's pretty much the sort of thing I am talking about, exce they might mean something else besides a gravity well. A gravity well would affect them all, you would think. How fast it is an observable effect on each planet might depend on the characteristics of the planet and system. 

The last I heard that is the most widely accepted theory.

From what I get, this article in the Bad Astronomy blog by Phil Plait might satisfy your needs. Seems to be the same newsitem...

https://www.syfy.com/syfy-wire/bad-astronomy-hd-3167-has-2-planets-orbiting-at-right-angles-to-a-third

 

Also: Sorry for borking the quote function...   ...still learning this forum's editor. :^/

Edited by Godot
Correction of the quotes I messed up.
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On 11/19/2021 at 5:57 AM, DeckerdSmeckerd said:

if you drew a plus sign on our orbital plane and one line is 60 degrees in respect to the galactic plane, I wonder where the other line in the plus points in respect to the center of the galaxy. I assume he means that the plane is at 60 degrees in the direction we are traveling. I could be wrong about what I think he means but he doesn't say it is at 60 degrees toward the center.

 

Super interesting article. Thanks for that.

edit: I also wouldn't want to disregard the 60 degree angle. I would want to look along that plane all the way in a circle and see if there are any other gravity wells. 

I also would like to draw a line through the perigee and aphelion of the planetary orbits and see if there is anything out there in either direction. Of course, I don't know if these things change over thousands or millions of years as we revolve around the galaxy center, so if they are attracted to gravity wells, they might shift between different wells during the revolution.

The only effect the gravity well of another body would have on the orientation of the orbital plane of our solar system would be through tidal forces( the part of the solar system closest to the body being pulled on more than the part further away)* Tidal forces fall off by the cube of the distance. This means that the mass causing them generally need to be fairly close. For example, even though the Sun is nearly 27 million times more massive than the Moon, the fact that the Moon is 1/400 the distance of the Sun results in it having the larger tidal effect on the Earth.

There are no bodies with the right combination of mass and distance to produce any significant tidal effect on the Solar system.  The galaxy itself is very massive, but its center is so far away that, for all intents and purposes, all parts of the solar system are an equal distance from it.

The perihelion and aphelion of the various planets do shift over time, but that's due to interactions between the planets themselves. They also do not line up with each other.

In addition, while the major planets do tend to orbit in almost the same plane, there are plenty of bodies that do not, asteroids, comets, etc. Comets in particular have large, very elliptical orbits, and because of this, they would be much more prone to be effected by external tidal forces acting on the solar system as a whole.  We do not see any pattern to them that would suggest that they are being effected in such a way. 

 

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32 minutes ago, Janus said:

[...]

In addition, while the major planets do tend to orbit in almost the same plane, there are plenty of bodies that do not, asteroids, comets, etc. Comets in particular have large, very elliptical orbits, and because of this, they would be much more prone to be effected by external tidal forces acting on the solar system as a whole.  We do not see any pattern to them that would suggest that they are being effected in such a way. 

 

Well, in the long term, with the solar system orbiting the galactic center roughly every 250ky,...  ...the direction of its pull rotates, too.

So while some bodies might be tossed, due to bein dragged near e.g. Jupiter, the majority will be nudged this way now, and just the other way in 125k years. So I wouldn't expect any pattern among the surviving, just a wee attrition, which we can neither confirm nor disprove...

*shrug*

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3 hours ago, Godot said:

Well, in the long term, with the solar system orbiting the galactic center roughly every 250ky,...  ...the direction of its pull rotates, too.

So while some bodies might be tossed, due to bein dragged near e.g. Jupiter, the majority will be nudged this way now, and just the other way in 125k years. So I wouldn't expect any pattern among the surviving, just a wee attrition, which we can neither confirm nor disprove...

*shrug*

From what I was able to determine, even though the solar system's orbital plane is 60 degrees tilted from the galactic plane, the planetary bodies fall toward and rise away from the center of the galaxy. 

3 hours ago, Janus said:

The only effect the gravity well of another body would have on the orientation of the orbital plane of our solar system would be through tidal forces( the part of the solar system closest to the body being pulled on more than the part further away)* Tidal forces fall off by the cube of the distance. This means that the mass causing them generally need to be fairly close. For example, even though the Sun is nearly 27 million times more massive than the Moon, the fact that the Moon is 1/400 the distance of the Sun results in it having the larger tidal effect on the Earth.

There are no bodies with the right combination of mass and distance to produce any significant tidal effect on the Solar system.  The galaxy itself is very massive, but its center is so far away that, for all intents and purposes, all parts of the solar system are an equal distance from it.

The perihelion and aphelion of the various planets do shift over time, but that's due to interactions between the planets themselves. They also do not line up with each other.

In addition, while the major planets do tend to orbit in almost the same plane, there are plenty of bodies that do not, asteroids, comets, etc. Comets in particular have large, very elliptical orbits, and because of this, they would be much more prone to be effected by external tidal forces acting on the solar system as a whole.  We do not see any pattern to them that would suggest that they are being effected in such a way. 

 

I think of a gravity well as a direction down (just for the sake of describing my thought) since that is how we think of it while on earth. Up is away from the gravity and down is towards it. If the center of the galaxy exerts even the slightest of gravity on our solar system then the direction towards it is down. (Just for the sake of describing my thought process). That means everything wants to fall toward it unless there is some force that counteracts it. Even though it might be too weak to move the ocean, I don't see why the planets would not fall toward that distant gravity well because no matter how weak it is, it is still the natural direction for things to fall. I have checked our solar system and they do fall around our Sun in this way.

It might be just a coincidence. There might be reasons that other bodies in our system have not yet settled on the same plane as the major planets. Their orbits might be younger. I have to check some other systems. I am not an professional astronomer, or even a novice, so I am basically just starting from scratch thinking about this. I wouldn't even say was I was beginning. It is just something that I wondered about.

 

Edited by DeckerdSmeckerd
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2 hours ago, DeckerdSmeckerd said:

Even though it might be too weak to move the ocean, I don't see why the planets would not fall toward that distant gravity well because no matter how weak it is, it is still the natural direction for things to fall. I have checked our solar system and they do fall around our Sun in this way.

But it’s so small compared to the other accelerations. And since we are orbiting, we accelerate toward the center without actually moving toward the center (assuming a circular orbit) IOW, something in a circular orbit is falling toward the center, but is moving sideways so it keeps missing, and gets no closer to the center.

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50 minutes ago, swansont said:

But it’s so small compared to the other accelerations. And since we are orbiting, we accelerate toward the center without actually moving toward the center (assuming a circular orbit) IOW, something in a circular orbit is falling toward the center, but is moving sideways so it keeps missing, and gets no closer to the center.

Is there any use in sharing more of these kinds of theories? They don't seem interesting to anyone here.

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29 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

Other than...you know...clarifying with accurate points of physics in a physics thread?

Yeah, people reject theories very quickly don't they?  Dark matter is a theory. Perhaps, the dark matter will explain things better, once it has been located.

Edited by DeckerdSmeckerd
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1 hour ago, DeckerdSmeckerd said:

Yeah, people reject theories very quickly don't they?  Dark matter is a theory. Perhaps, the dark matter will explain things better, once it has been located.

Theories in science are longstanding and evidentially well-supported. You are talking about hypotheses, which may be transient and purely speculative... a starting point. 

Edited by StringJunky
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1 minute ago, StringJunky said:

Theories in science are longstanding and evidentially well-supported. You are talking about hypotheses, which may be transient.

Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is an established scientific theory in the formal sense. Lol. That would be premature at best. So you may call it what you will.

 

Most people seem to prefer factual understanding and might talk theory but seem only to like talking about theory from the establishment. I have come to the conclusion that I need people that prefer unestablished theories but I don't know who they are or where to find them.

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7 minutes ago, DeckerdSmeckerd said:

Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is an established scientific theory in the formal sense. Lol. That would be premature at best. So you may call it what you will.

 

Most people seem to prefer factual understanding and might talk theory but seem only to like talking about theory from the establishment. I have come to the conclusion that I need people that prefer unestablished theories but I don't know who they are or where to find them.

A lot of new science is actually conjecture, with only mathematical credibility and no actual measurements, like dark matter. "All models are wrong but some are useful". Most of the internet, outside of here and a few others, is receptive to personal pet theories. 

Edited by StringJunky
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30 minutes ago, DeckerdSmeckerd said:

Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is an established scientific theory in the formal sense. Lol. That would be premature at best. So you may call it what you will.

 

Most people seem to prefer factual understanding and might talk theory but seem only to like talking about theory from the establishment. I have come to the conclusion that I need people that prefer unestablished theories but I don't know who they are or where to find them.

If you want to hypothesize, you want to do so while comparing to standard theory and/or experiment, correct?

Comparing it to other hypothesis or speculations, unless they are well understood, can derail your line of inquiry pretty quickly, private conversations aside.

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50 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

A lot of new science is actually conjecture, with only mathematical credibility and no actual measurements, like dark matter. "All models are wrong but some are useful". Most of the internet, outside of here and a few others, is receptive to personal pet theories. 

It doesn't do much good to post a personal pet theory in the YouTube comments section or something like that. I need a professional or to relay it to a professional that can check. The only resistance to this notion is "what gravity?" 

15 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

If you want to hypothesize, you want to do so while comparing to standard theory and/or experiment, correct?

Comparing it to other hypothesis or speculations, unless they are well understood, can derail your line of inquiry pretty quickly, private conversations aside.

Yes, I am learning that. However, the establishment already believes there are missing sources of gravity so my notion about planets settling on an orbital plane in relation to secondary gravity wells might be of assistance in that search, or it might reveal something else. So yes, I think you are completely correct about what to compare it to. 

Edited by DeckerdSmeckerd
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