What would happen if earth was knocked off its orbital path?

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Offline Dimi

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Well, are there any theories for what would happen?

If the earth was dramaticlly knocked off of the path it orbits - would there be any potential to knock into other planets! Or would gravity deny it?
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Offline Turveyd

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What would happen if earth was knocked off its orbital path?
« Reply #1 on: 28/09/2009 23:28:53 »
Speed up the earth then it'll orbit in a ever increasing circle before going out to deep space.

Slow it down and it'll orbit in a ever increasing circle before plunging into the sun,  or as near as you can get.

It's also possible we'd just move into a different orbit,  odds on a collision are ofcourse low with other planets the solar system is huge and after all,  but it could put us into the path of some large asteriods.


Option 1 means we'd all freeze to death!!


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Offline LeeE

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What would happen if earth was knocked off its orbital path?
« Reply #2 on: 29/09/2009 18:06:13 »
It would be possible, purely in terms of orbital mechanics, for the Earth to be knocked on to a path that would intersect the orbits of other planets, but I think that in practice, any collision with an object large enough to change the orbit of the Earth this much would be likely to fragment the Earth into many pieces.
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