On Mon, 7 Feb 2000 firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Re: planetary orbit changes
> This theory involves gradual changes in
> planetary orbits over hundreds of thousand
> of years. Totally different animal.
Well, its probably more on the order of millions to hundreds of
millions of years. You have to wait for the gravitational effects
of the orbits to produce the sling shots and that may take some time.
But astronomers now have 30+ extraterrestrial planets to deal with
and the orbits, sizes and even solar system configurations found
thus far don't look anything like the primary example we have
at our feet. There is a selection effect in the observations
but clearly we have to *explain* the observations thus far.
If it turns out that the sling-shot planetary billiards activity
is a general rule and the effects so far in our solar system are
simply smaller (not non-existent) than that observed in other
systems then that makes astronomers happier since it means we
aren't *exceptionally* unusual but simply lie at some point
on the overall distribution of sling-shot results from minor
to very severe. If you think about it it would seem improbable
for us to be the "average" case. We don't know anything about
the distribution function and until we do its difficult to say
whether our situation is common or rare.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:03:32 MDT