If we imagine magnets on a table as a simplified analogy in regards to gravitational attraction between objects, then it may be demonstrated that when three objects are placed in a row labeled in order A,B,& C in such a manor that if object A is moved, objects B,& C will respond by moving. If then object B is removed moving object A will not affect object C. If this analogy is considered for all objects in the solar system, or the whole galaxy, can we not extrapolate an explanation of how imagining the removal of a planet from the Solar System may affect every object in the galaxy? Could the destabilization of the asteroids destabilize the planets?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are (at least) two big differences; 1) the table is presumably on the surface of the Earth and so there is a threshold imposed by static friction with the table. That doesn't happen when free-floating in a vacuum, 2) magnets are dipoles, masses are monopoles, though that is a lesser difference than the static friction. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 23 at 6:49
  • $\begingroup$ What is a subplanetary solar object? Is that something like dry water? $\endgroup$ Jun 23 at 7:25
  • $\begingroup$ Gravitation is a purely attractive force, which is why what you describe cannot happen with gravitating objects. $\endgroup$ Jun 23 at 8:21
  • $\begingroup$ @AtmosphericPrisonEscape this demonstration could easily work if three dipole (bar) magnets were placed along (and parallel to) a line, i.e. NS - NS - NS. In this case all pair forces would be attractive. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 23 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ If I understand your question, you are asking if solar-system dynamics can have something like a "butterfly effect". Over the long term many-body orbital dynamics is chaotic, but unlike the weather we can predict it with remarkable precision over many years, and ignoring small solar system bodies doesn't affect the accuracy of those predictions. $\endgroup$
    – antlersoft
    Jun 23 at 14:28


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .