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josun
2003-May-15, 10:12 PM
Just for a moment ,let us suppose the PX theory is correct.

My question is: If PX is making it's pass 14 million miles from Earth (Iknow that would be close in astronomical terms ,depending on the mass of the object), Would it be possible from that distance for red dust from the Object and its moons to reach the Earth, and if it is possible just how large would the combined PX and the trailing moons and the dust cloud have to be?.
And, If the answer is the dust could reach us, then would that not make it very visible, I mean without a shadow of doubt? And would not at least one of the trailing moons collide with an object in our Galaxy?...I woke up with this thought ,and tried to reason it out scientificaly....But I do not have your training in astro-physics.

This is a hypothetical question of course, but it is relavant to the facts that I am searching for....I myself would think that if it were 14 million miles away in its trajectory, how would all the double helix oriented moons and red dust ,not collide with other moons in our galaxy, or the red dust impregnate our planet unless it was humongous ,That is the whole spectrum (Planet X -Moons in tow and Red dust cloud ).

What is the diameter of our Earth? So, is this possible if it were true???

dgruss23
2003-May-16, 12:17 AM
Collisions can happen, but the distances between objects in space are much larger than the sizes of the objects. We discussed this a little bit here: http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=4642&highlight=collision

AstroSmurf
2003-May-16, 12:29 PM
This belongs in the PX or "against the mainstream" forum, but I'll bite.

I'll run some figures first: The Earth is approximately 7,900 miles in diameter, and the entire Earth-Moon system is approximately 60 times that, or 478,000 miles.

I have no clue how large the red cloud is supposed to be, and we don't exactly have a lot of observed objects similar enough to PX to run a comparison, but an approximation would be that the entire PX moon-system is about 1-2 million miles in diameter. This would allow for quite a few moons, red clouds, Zetans in flying saucers or whatever.

With a closest passage of 14 million miles, PX would not be close enough to collide with much of anything, but since a dust cloud doesn't exactly stop at a well-defined border, we'd likely see a particle or two collide with our atmosphere and burn up. They'd likely be too small to make shooting stars, but dust content would go up, so we'd get pretty sunsets for a while.

Whether PX would be visible is an interestng question. At 14 million miles, to say that an object with 2 million miles diameter would be visible is an understatement. The planet alone (supposedly 4 times Earth's diameter) would cover 7.8 arcminutes. As a comparison, the moon covers about 31 arcminutes, so it would show as about one quarter the diameter, or 1/16 of the size (area, remember), big and bright enough to show a visible disk even during the day. The entire system would be almost ridiculously large, covering several degrees of the sky. Even if the "red dust" soaks up all the light, that too would be visible as a huge, dark cloud moving slowly over the night sky, blocking out the stars behind it.

So yes, we'd notice. Even without 20-20 vision, much less telescopes.

As for gravitational effects, pole shifts and whatnot, I haven't run the calculus but I doubt we'd see much of anything. Tides might run a little strangely for a while, but after that, things would be much the same. The effects of a PX passage would be more on the level of shifting the Earth's orbit, which might affect our climate on a long-term basis. Given that most species, our own in particular, are good at adapting to changes, life would continue, but not necessarily as we know it. :wink:

// The Astro Smurf

Correct me if you will - my interest in astronomy is strictly on an amateur level; what little training I have leans more towards quantum mechanics.