February 26, 2024

Orbital resonance – the striking gravitational dance performed by planets with aligned orbits

Planets orbit their parent stars while separated by enormous distances. In our solar system, planets are like grains of sand in an area the size of a football field. The time it takes for planets to revolve around their sun has no specific relationship with each other.

But sometimes their orbits show striking patterns. For example, astronomers study six planets orbiting a star At 100 light years away, they have just discovered that they are orbiting their star in an almost rhythmic rhythm, in perfect synchronization. Each pair of planets completes their orbits in times that are the ratios of whole numbers, allowing the planets to align during their orbit and exert a gravitational pull on the other.

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