Barnard's Star = Dinosaur Killer?

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spacejunki

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I posted this on another thread, but I want to increase my chances of getting the question answered. Basically it's about Barnard's star and its predicted closest approach (closer than Alpha Centauri) in the next 10,000 years<br /><br />=============================<br /><br />So has anyone wondered or done a study on whether Barnard's or some other star in our neighborhood passes by like this on a regular basis? Say in some huge multi-million year elliptical orbit? <br /><br />The fossil record contains evidence of mass extinctions every 30 or 60 million years. Wouldn't a star's increasing proximity perturb the Oort cloud causing a swarm of comets to come crashing into the inner solar system? I know a lot of these would miss us and probably get eaten up by the Sun or Jupiter (hello, Shoemaker Levy 9), but seems like 1 could hit us. Ouch! <br /><br />
 
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tony873004

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Barnard's star does not orbit the Sun. It is outside the Sun's Hill Sphere, and its velocity exceeds solar escape velocity for its distance. Its future passage of the Sun is a one-time thing.
 
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