Here's what would happen if a planet went rogue in our solar system

If the Universe were a playground, wandering planets would undoubtedly be the rebels on duty. If one of them were to enter our solar system, it would not be without consequences.

solar system rogue planet Earth
© Greg Razoky / Unsplash
solar system rogue planet Earth

We've been told, we know: a planet is a spherical celestial body orbiting around a star. And despite all that, there are exceptions: rogue planets. These are planets that don't orbit around any star. Better still, they wander through Space wherever they please. Given that the structure of our Solar System and life on Earth depend on a delicate balance of opposing forces, what would happen if one of these planets came our way?

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To infinity and beyond

Although scientists have succeeded in detecting the existence of stray planets in the galaxy, there is currently no consensus as to how they are formed. Some argue that they are 'failed stars', while others, like Michael Zemcov, associate professor of physics at the Rochester Institute of Technology, believe that they are planets that have been ejected from a nascent solar system:

Many modern theories of planetary system formation suggest that many planets form around young stars. However, many of them are ejected over time, as the planetary system becomes more organized, and gravitational changes take place.

If you thought stray planets were rare, think again! Astrophysicists estimate that there are billions of them! 20 times as many as there are stars.

Read more:This is how you would die on each planet in the solar system

Disaster scenarios?

Let's face it, the prospect of an errant planet entering our solar system cannot be an event without consequences. The worst-case scenario would obviously be a collision. Meteorites regularly land on Earth. But as they are small in size, they generally have no consequences. A planet, on the other hand... Quite simply, there would be no Earth and no wandering planet. There you have it.

The other scenario could be a wandering planet that deviates the Earth from its rotational axis around the Sun. Depending on whether it deviates towards or away from our beloved star, life on Earth would inevitably be impacted via higher or lower temperatures. What about the possibility of the Earth itself becoming a wandering planet? At present, with the Sun not yet dying, and therefore with its full gravitational pull, the situation seems impossible, according to the experts.

Read more:Expert reveals what would happen to the Earth if humans went extinct

This article has been translated from Gentside FR.

Sources used:

Universal SCI: What is a rogue planet? Trillions of rogue planets, 20x more than stars, are wandering alone in our galaxy Could Earth ever become a rogue planet?

King's Courier: What Would Happen If A Rogue Planet Entered Our Solar System?

Discover these amazing facts about our Solar System, they will blow your mind Discover these amazing facts about our Solar System, they will blow your mind