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Author Topic: Direction of planets rotation around the sun  (Read 10216 times)

Offline FuzzyUK

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Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« on: 31/03/2006 22:13:03 »
Why do all the planets rotate around the sun in like direction? There is not one that want's to be awkward and orbit the other way. It could be fun though watching Mars racing across the sky apparently travelling much faster if we could knock it's direction of orbit. And even more curious if there were planets orbiting in planes offsett by 90 degrees to the ecliptic.

Fuzzy
« Last Edit: 31/03/2006 22:27:04 by FuzzyUK »


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #1 on: 31/03/2006 23:42:18 »
It's due to the solar system having formed from a rotating gas cloud. That result is now visible as the orbits of the planets.

All the planets are in the same plane due the gas cloud having formed itself into a rotating disc. The exception to that is Pluto, whose orbit is inclined. That's 1 of the reasons some scientists believe Pluto may not have fromed the same way as the other planets, but was, in fact, captured by the sun's gravity.

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Offline neilep

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #2 on: 31/03/2006 23:47:00 »
...and neptune likes to orbit on it's side too !!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #3 on: 31/03/2006 23:51:34 »
quote:
Originally posted by neilep

...and neptune likes to orbit on it's side too !!



That's very true. It's axis of rotation is more-or-less in the solar plane.

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Offline neilep

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #4 on: 01/04/2006 00:06:07 »
AHH !!

I think I actually meant Uranus:



you too ?

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #5 on: 01/04/2006 00:34:17 »
I knew that. I just didn't want you to think I was showing off
*backs out of post whistling tunelessly*

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #6 on: 01/04/2006 00:40:41 »
They have actually found a system where the outer planets orbit one way and the inner planets orbit the other.

They did say how it could have happened but i cant remember.

I will try to remember where the article which i read was posted.
« Last Edit: 01/04/2006 00:49:39 by ukmicky »
 

Offline ukmicky

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #7 on: 01/04/2006 00:49:03 »
i found this but i don't think it is the article i originally saw it may even be a different solar system
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2006/opposite_orbit.html

Michael
« Last Edit: 01/04/2006 00:51:50 by ukmicky »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #8 on: 01/04/2006 00:49:29 »
I read an article about it too. I'll have a look.

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« Last Edit: 01/04/2006 00:50:15 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline Amergin

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #9 on: 01/04/2006 02:08:40 »
I would expand the question to why stars rotate in spirals in most galaxies. I realise our solar system also does so, counter clockwise if viewed from above. In our practical experience water swirls and hurricanes rotate in a given direction above the equator and below the equator.

What force causes stars to rotate in spirals, and I think makes groups of galaxies also rotate in a giant spiral?

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Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #10 on: 01/04/2006 10:10:32 »
I think you are getting confused. The stars rotate in ellipses. If they rotated in spirals they would all spin off into the far distance (or collapse to a single point, depending on what way along the spiral they were moving).

The spiral arms are a consequence of density waves amongst the stars and gas clouds, leading to bursts of star formation along a spiral pattern.

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Offline harryneild

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #11 on: 11/04/2006 22:46:19 »
I also would like to know the answer ot this. If you had a gas cloud, then any increases in density throughout the cloud would cause all the other matter to get drawn in. This leads me to believe that the gas clound should then simply collapse into 1 big, non-rotating mass. Clearly this isnt the case, so what is it that kick-starts the rotation?


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« Last Edit: 05/04/2007 22:12:21 by harryneild »
 

Offline daveshorts

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #12 on: 12/04/2006 00:07:22 »
This would be true if the gas cloud was perfectly still, but if one area was moving ever so slightly faster than another even if the whole cloud wasn't spinning parts of it would be, so if these collapsed their speed of rotation would increase, and the whole thing would spin.
 

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Re: Direction of planets rotation around the sun
« Reply #12 on: 12/04/2006 00:07:22 »

 

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