Multi-plane star systems

Status
Not open for further replies.
H

HiGh_GuY

Guest
Hey, I was reading some info that touched on orbital mechanics. and according to that source..... "planets in a given system tend to orbit in similar planes." This doesn't say that orbiting in the same, or similar planes is a set in stone rule. I was just wondering if it is possible to have a star system where some or all of the planets orbit in different planes? think like a model of an atom where the nucleus is the star, and the elcectrons are the planets. And do we know of any such star systems in existence?
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
AFAIK, we don't know of any with multiple planes, but then again we only have about 30 or so muliple planet systems that we've found so far, so it's not a very big sample.

It would seem that such a system would not be stable over millions of years with one set of planets or the other being ejected from the system or swallowed by the star.

In our solar system, 99.9999% of the mass of the non sun part of the ss is in a very narrow plane a few degrees thick.

There are smaller objects in the asteroid and Kuiper belt and scattered disk that orbit at different angles, and even a few comets that go the other way around the sun, but they are a miniscule fraction of the mass, and none are grouped into common planes except for a few asteroids that have been shattered and the debris orbits in a common plane.

Wayne
 
B

bdewoody

Guest
It seems to me that most planetary scientists feel that stars form from a spinning disk of gas and dust and therefore the planetary objects would necessarily form in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the stars spin. Some of the planetary objects would probably deviate from that plane slightly due to collisions during their early formation. This just a logical observation from an interested non scientist and can probably be shot full of holes.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
I would say that while likely, it is not required that the planetary plane be aligned with that of that of the sun's rotation.

While they should be aligned, it is possible to imagine circumstances where they would not line up...for example the moon's inclination relative to the earth's rotation plane.
 
H

HiGh_GuY

Guest
i dont know, just think it would be cool to see such a star system. I agree with the current theory of planetary creation from the roating disks of gas, but thats not to say that something couldn't knock a planet formed this way off course.

other possible ways for such a star system to happen would be... possilby merging of galaxies, if two star systems came to close at the right angles. or rougue planets being caught by a star's gravity. Think of how the LCROSS is orbiting the earth-moon system...that is roughly perpendicular to the plane in which the planets orbit the sun. again, this would require the right angels, and right masses of planets, stars for this to happen. Either way if such galxies do exist they would be the odballs, but much more interesting.

Also, it would be interesting to see star systems with multiple planets sharing the same orbit. (like how kepler shares earths orbit around the sun, trailing earth)

and maybe star systems with two planets orbiting eachother, orbiting the star. if both the planets were the same size, i don't know if they would still consider one of them a moon? but it doesn't seem impossible, as there are systems with multiple stars orbiting eachother.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
HiGh_GuY":1i6lc67r said:
i dont know, just think it would be cool to see such a star system. I agree with the current theory of planetary creation from the roating disks of gas, but thats not to say that something couldn't knock a planet formed this way off course.

other possible ways for such a star system to happen would be... possilby merging of galaxies, if two star systems came to close at the right angles. or rougue planets being caught by a star's gravity. Think of how the LCROSS is orbiting the earth-moon system...that is roughly perpendicular to the plane in which the planets orbit the sun. again, this would require the right angels, and right masses of planets, stars for this to happen. Either way if such galxies do exist they would be the odballs, but much more interesting.

Also, it would be interesting to see star systems with multiple planets sharing the same orbit. (like how kepler shares earths orbit around the sun, trailing earth)

and maybe star systems with two planets orbiting eachother, orbiting the star. if both the planets were the same size, i don't know if they would still consider one of them a moon? but it doesn't seem impossible, as there are systems with multiple stars orbiting eachother.
More irrelevant speculation I'm afraid. While it might be "cool" it is still extremely unlikely.

Your statement about Kepler is not relevant, since it is in the same plane around the sun as the earth. Otherwise, it's orbit would not be stable. See the point? It's in the same plane, that's why it's orbit is stable.

Of course there are systems with multiple stars orbiting each other. What is less clear is what that has to do with the planetary systems. There are two stable configurations...either the planets orbit close in to one star or the other, or they orbit so far away from both that the stars exist as a single barycenter from the planet's orbital viewpoint.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
Ran across an article (from Science News) that's somewhat related....not exactly, but close.

I have to do some research to come up with the arXiv abstracts, but basically a number of exoplanets have been discovered that orbit at large angles to the rotation plane of the star (which we assume is the plane of the protoplanetary disk, hence the plane in which planets would form). COROT-1b is tilted at an angle of 77 degrees to the star. Two other independant studies have found planets with tilts at 150 and 180 degrees, and two others with extreme orbits have been found as well. As far as I can tell, these are sytems where only one planet has been discovered, though.

"With the new findings, between 25 and 50% of all exoplanets whose angles of inclination have been measured have tilts exceeding 30 degrees. Earth has the greatest tilt of planets in the solar system, with an angle of 7.1 degrees.

The newly found tilts represent 'a spectacular upheavel of the standard view of close in planet formation..and probably indicate instead catastrophic encounters between svereal planets' "

It is speculated that the solar system is special not because it avoided planetary pinball, but because the encounters happened while the disk of rocky debris still survived. This would dampen eccentric and inclined orbits.

MW
 
B

bdewoody

Guest
Could it be that earth's tilt is due to the theorized collision that formed the moon? I say theorized because I guess it would be hard to prove the collision happened.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
That's ceratinly a possibility. It was certainly one of the most "equal massed" collisions that left an intact planet since it left enough mass in orbit to create the moon. A better answer will take a bit of time. Despite all the research I've done about solar system orbits of planets, asteroids, and comets, I was unaware that the earth 's had the greatest inclination from the sun's rotation plane until I read this article! So now I have more work to do :)

Wayne
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY