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Impact probabilities are probabilities because there are uncertainties in the orbits themselves, as well as in the simulation or propagation.

In other words the measurements used to produce the starting points have plenty of observational uncertainties, and the error in the simulation grows due to these uncertainties grows the longer you run it for.

So even if you had a "perfect" simulator, you'd have to run the simulation kerjillions of times to include a thousand different slightly different staring point for each of the bodies in the simulation. Since everything interacts with everything (in the case of gravity) that becomes a huge problem. Real calculations use all kinds of techniques to try to include uncertainties in their propagator, hopefully another answer here will expand on that.

Then there are uncertainties in the non-gravitational forces such as outgassing and pressure from sunlight and the solar wind.

To read more on that, see the new BBC News article Interstellar visitor's identity solved and also scroll down to the link that says The full study is published in Nature where an open access version of the Nature paper Non-gravitational acceleration in the trajectory of 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) is available for you to read.

Impact probabilities are probabilities because there are uncertainties in the orbits themselves, as well as in the simulation or propagation.

In other words the measurements used to produce the starting points have plenty of observational uncertainties, and the error in the simulation grows due to these uncertainties grows the longer you run it for.

So even if you had a "perfect" simulator, you'd have to run the simulation kerjillions of times to include a thousand different slightly different staring point for each of the bodies in the simulation. Since everything interacts with everything (in the case of gravity) that becomes a huge problem. Real calculations use all kinds of techniques to try to include uncertainties in their propagator, hopefully another answer here will expand on that.

Then there are uncertainties in the non-gravitational forces such as outgassing and pressure from sunlight and the solar wind.

To read more on that, see the new BBC News article Interstellar visitor's identity solved and also scroll down to the link that says The full study is published in Nature where an open access version of the Nature paper Non-gravitational acceleration in the trajectory of 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) is available for you to read.

Impact probabilities are probabilities because there are uncertainties in the orbits themselves, as well as in the simulation or propagation.

In other words the measurements used to produce the starting points have plenty of observational uncertainties, and the error in the simulation grows due to these uncertainties grows the longer you run it for.

So even if you had a "perfect" simulator, you'd have to run the simulation kerjillions of times to include a thousand slightly different staring point for each of the bodies in the simulation. Since everything interacts with everything (in the case of gravity) that becomes a huge problem. Real calculations use all kinds of techniques to try to include uncertainties in their propagator, hopefully another answer here will expand on that.

Then there are uncertainties in the non-gravitational forces such as outgassing and pressure from sunlight and the solar wind.

To read more on that, see the new BBC News article Interstellar visitor's identity solved and also scroll down to the link that says The full study is published in Nature where an open access version of the Nature paper Non-gravitational acceleration in the trajectory of 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) is available for you to read.

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source | link

Impact probabilities are probabilities because there are uncertainties in the orbits themselves, as well as in the simulation or propagation.

In other words the measurements used to produce the starting points have plenty of observational uncertainties, and the error in the simulation grows due to these uncertainties grows the longer you run it for.

So even if you had a "perfect" simulator, you'd have to run the simulation kerjillions of times to include a thousand different slightly different staring point for each of the bodies in the simulation. Since everything interacts with everything (in the case of gravity) that becomes a huge problem. Real calculations use all kinds of techniques to try to include uncertainties in their propagator, hopefully another answer here will expand on that.

Then there are uncertainties in the non-gravitational forces such as outgassing and pressure from sunlight and the solar wind.

To read more on that, see the new BBC News article Interstellar visitor's identity solved and also scroll down to the link that says The full study is published in Nature where an open access version of the Nature paper Non-gravitational acceleration in the trajectory of 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) is available for you to read.