will the earth drift away if it get hit by multiple meteors

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by SpaceBook, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. SpaceBook Registered Member

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    6
    hi guys, i was just wondering, will the earth drift way from its orbit if it get hit by many meteors and increase the weight of the earth and if yes will it drift away from the solar system?
     
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  3. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    No that is not really in the realm of possibility.

    Jupiter is over 300 times as massive as the earth and it is still in orbit. If the earth was hit by meteorites that increased the mass of the earth to a detectable amount there would be no body left alive to be concerned about what it would do to the oribit!
     
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  5. SpaceBook Registered Member

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    thanks but i wanted to know if there is a possibility to drift in case of this deadly impact, but i understand your answer
     
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    A meteor impact has two effects on the earth.
    • 1. It increases the earth's mass.
    • 2. It adds or subtracts energy from the earth's speed in its orbit. It can even knock it "up" or "down" to change the angle of the orbital plane.
    Both of these effects will, theoretically, change the planet's orbit. However, the effect of a meteor impact is so tiny that the change will be undetectable.

    The mass of the earth is 6*10^21 metric tons

    The Chicxulub meteor, which changed the earth's climate catastrophically and ultimately brought about the extinction of the dinosaurs, was 10km in diameter. I can't find any estimates of its mass, but that makes the earth's volume two billion times the volume of the meteor. So the mass of the meteor is on the order of magnitude of half of a billionth of the mass of the earth.

    So no matter how fast it was moving, it seems rather unlikely that it could have had a measurable impact on the earth's orbit.

    DISCLAIMER: None of these calculations are guaranteed to be accurate. But even if I'm off by a factor of 100, it won't make much difference.
     
  8. SpaceBook Registered Member

    Messages:
    6


    hmmmm nice so what if like dozen or hundreds fall, will it make any different? and i know if an amount of this falls on earth we might probably die but i only want to know
     
  9. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    5,051
    What is half a billionth times twelve? Times 100?
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    12,723
    No, it will still be imperceptible. Astronomers might be able to calculate that the Earth's year is 1/10 of a second longer or something but it will not be noticeable to people (if any are still alive after a bombardment like that.)
     
  11. SpaceBook Registered Member

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    6

    thanks guys you have cleared my mind now, i really appreciate it
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Well then it's time to fill it up again.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  13. SpaceBook Registered Member

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    oh man do you want to fill my nuts with crappy things again?

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  14. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    17,455
    yes, it's possible for a meteor, astreroid, other orbiting object, to knock the earth out of its orbit.
    it's doubtful though that the earth will leave the solar system as a result.
    you must remember that we are talking about huge meteors etc.
     
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    12,723
    No, it's really not. An object large enough to significantly change the Earth's orbit would completely destroy it. As Fraggle pointed out, even the biggest recorded asteroid impact - one that wiped out 90%+ of life on Earth - was too small to even budge it.

    If you postulate an object much larger, you would then get a new asteroid belt between Venus and Mars created from the debris of the resulting impact.
     
  16. SpaceBook Registered Member

    Messages:
    6


    so lets say a black hole pass by our solar system and disrupt our ( earth ) orbit a little away from the sun to like almost to the orbit of mars, will the earth be able to return to its original orbit?
     
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,723
    No; if a massive object gets close enough all bets are off. The object could radically alter the orbit of the Earth. The result would likely be a more elliptical orbit rather than a different semicircular orbit, or even a capture by the passing object (depending primarily on its speed.)

    A black hole would likely do significant damage to the Earth if it came close enough to affect its orbit; something like a brown dwarf or a neutron star would be a more likely candidate.
     

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