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1

I see one possible way for this to sort-of happen. Anders Sandberg did a good job of showing why a simple capture is impossible, but there's an extremely unlikely but not impossible scenario he missed. Consider Jupiter and Saturn. They're on the same side of the sun, Saturn is ahead of Jupiter. The black hats kidnap the sun and they're free flying. ...


2

I love Anders's answer — well done. But you could have got the idea already by looking at orbit perturbations the planets inflict on each other: They are mostly negligible. Come to think of it — it cannot be otherwise in a stable planetary system: During the evolution of planetary systems the orbits of planets which are too close to each other will be ...


-2

Without the sun... at current orbital velocities... The planets would fly apart... But exactly how far would they fly? Would they continue indefinitely into interstellar space? Or would they fly out into the Kuiper belt or Ooort cloud and subsequently fall back toward some barycenter. Removing the sun removes 99% of the mass of the solar system... so this ...


6

I gave a try at refining Anders Sandberg's answer with the equations for a two body system. Basically, a two body system is bound if the sum of the total kinetic energy and the (negative) gravitational potential energy is still negative. (To escape, kinetic energy needs to cancel out the potential energy.) Gravitational potential energy: $$U = -{GMm\over{R}}$...


7

No. The 8 planets would go into 8 different directions. It is because their relative velocity to each other is much higher than the escape velocity, even from their smallest distance. If it would not be so, their orbits could disturb each other significantly, even today with the Sun. Thus, the Solar System would become chaotic. However, the moon systems of ...


31

The issue here is whether pairs of planets can become gravitationally bound to each other. In the two-body problem the trajectories or orbits are ellipses (bound orbits), parabolas and hyperbolas (unbound). For all practical purposes, an encounter looks like they start out at infinity with some finite speed, approach each other, and then maybe fly away or ...


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