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Scientists have probably discovered the secret of Pluto's strange instability

BingMag.com <b>Scientists</b> <b>have</b> <b>probably</b> <b>discovered</b> the <b>secret</b> of <b>Pluto's</b> <b>strange</b> instability

In a new simulation, Scientists study Pluto orbit for the next 5 billion years and reveal secrets of how different it is.

Since then, Pluto has been a significant challenge and subject for study, and finally man visited it for the first time on July 14, 2015 (July 23, 2015) with the arrival of the spacecraft "New Horizons". What was clear from the beginning was the nature of Pluto's orbit, which is very unusual and inclined to the orbital plane of the other planets in our solar system. According to new research, Pluto's orbit is relatively stable over longer periods of time and is exposed to irregular perturbations at shorter intervals.

This study by Renu Malhotra, professor at the University of Arizona Moon and Planet Lab (LPL) and Takashi Ito, Associate Professor of Planetary Research at the Chiba Institute of Technology (PERC) and the Japan National Astronomical Observatory for Computational Astrophysics (NAOJ), and a related article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Proceedings) to explain this deviation. Following it to the equator is fundamentally different. It takes 248 Earth years for Pluto to orbit the Sun once, and it also follows a very elliptical orbit that is 17 degrees to the solar system's ecliptic plane. The unusual nature of its orbit also means that Pluto is 20 years closer to the Sun in each orbit around the Sun.

The nature of Pluto's orbit is an enduring mystery that astronomers discovered shortly after they understood. Since then, several attempts have been made to simulate its past and orbital future, which show an amazing feature, including that it protects Pluto from colliding with Neptune. According to Malhotra, this is an orbital state known as "medium motion resonance".

, Its longitude is about 90 degrees different from Neptune. Another strange feature was later discovered in Pluto orbit; That Pluto reaches the abyss much higher than the plane of Neptune's orbit. "This is a different kind of orbital resonance called the vZLK oscillation."

It stands for von Zeipel, Lidov and Kozai. Who had studied this phenomenon as part of the "problem of three bodies." This involves taking the initial position and velocity of three massive objects and solving their subsequent motion according to Newton's three laws of motion and his theory of universal gravitation, for which there is no general solution.

Malhotra also said: In the late 1980s, with the advent of more powerful computers, numerical simulations showed the planet's third strange feature, that Pluto's orbit was technically disturbed, with small deviations in its initial conditions leading to divergence of its orbital prediction solutions over tens of millions of years.

  • Familiarity with the butterfly effect and chaos theory

However, this chaos is limited and in Numerical Simulations It has been shown that the two special features of the Pluto orbit mentioned above remain in the Gigasal time intervals and, despite the turbulence indices, make the orbit significantly stable.

Future Computer Simulations of the Orbit Pluto

Malhotra and Ito performed numerical simulations of Pluto orbits for the next 5 billion years of the solar system. In particular, they hoped to answer unresolved questions about Pluto's strange orbits and other objects of the same size (known as Pluto). These questions have been considered in recent decades as research into the "planetary migration theory" but only one point has been answered.

In this hypothesis, Pluto was migrated by Neptune during the early history of the solar system Had, towards the intensification of its current average movement. The main prediction of this theory is that other "Neptune transit objects" (TNOs) have similar aggravation conditions that have since been confirmed by the discovery of a large number of Pluto.

This discovery also led to the wider acceptance of the theory of migration. Has become a planet. But as Malhotra explained: "Pluto's orbital affinity is closely related to its vZLK oscillation. So we argued that if we could better understand the oscillation conditions of the planet vZLK Maybe we can solve the riddle. So we started by examining the role of each of the other giant planets (Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus) in Pluto orbit. "

BingMag.com <b>Scientists</b> <b>have</b> <b>probably</b> <b>discovered</b> the <b>secret</b> of <b>Pluto's</b> <b>strange</b> instability

Pluto from the perspective of the New Horizons spacecraft
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

to do this Kar, Malhotra, and Ito performed simulations in which they simulated the orbital evolution of Pluto up to 5 billion years ago, involving eight different combinations of the effects of giant planets. These N-body simulations involved the interaction of the planet with these planets:

  • Neptune (-NP)
  • Uranus and Neptune (-UNP)
  • Saturn and Neptune (-S-NP)
  • Jupiter and Neptune (J NP)
  • Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (-SUNP)
  • Jupiter, Uranus And Neptune (J-UNP)
  • Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune (JS-NP)
  • Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (JSUNP)
<"We did not leave out any of the three giant inner planets (Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus) to recover from Pluto vZLK oscillation because all three were necessary," Malhotra said. But what about these planets that are necessary for Pluto vZLK oscillation?

According to Malhotra, 21 parameters of these planets are actually needed to represent the gravitational forces of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus on Pluto. To simplify these calculations, they grouped the set into a parameter that consisted of representing each planet with a circular ring of uniform density over the mass of the planet and with a radius equal to the average distance of the planet from the Sun. This single parameter (J2) represented the effect of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, which is synonymous with the effect of a "spherical sun." Which shows a golden zone, a narrow range in parameter J2 where the oscillation of Pluto vZLK is possible.

The species changed, many of which, including Pluto, brought the vZLK into oscillation. Thus Pluto's orbital inclination is justified during this dynamic evolution. These results are likely to have important implications for future studies of the outer solar system and its orbital dynamics. And will learn how to deploy them in their current circuits. This research could also lead to the discovery of a new dynamic mechanism that explains the origin of Pluto orbits and other high-orbiting objects.

This is especially useful for astronomers studying the dynamics of the solar system. . Because, as Malhotra pointed out, researchers are skeptical that the evidence that could shed light on Pluto's orbital evolution may have been obscured by the instability and turbulent nature of this orbital mechanics.

"I think our work raises new hopes for the connection between today's dynamics of the solar system and its dynamic background. The orbital origin of small planets throughout the solar system, including Neptune transit objects, is a large unsolved problem that our work may draw more attention to.

Malhotra added: "Another point to study We emphasize that the value of simpler approximations is for a complex problem: for example, the sum of 21 parameters in a single parameter opens the door to the necessary dynamic mechanisms based on interesting but difficult-to-understand orbital dynamics of Pluto and similar objects. It works.

Cover photo: Graphic design of Pluto based on New Horizons probe image
Credit: Dottedhippo/iStock

Source: Universe Today

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