Originally Posted by rusheagle
The process the Sun will go through leading up to and including the red giant phase will indeed cause the orbits to shift outward, somewhat, due to the loss of mass that the Sun will be blowing off. Of course, Mercury and Venus will likely get gobbled, though Earth may only get completely torched.
I have a question about planets escaping from thier parent star after the red giant phase or other star death. Shouldn't there be planets roaming around the galaxy all by themselves due to orbital shifts during the late stages of a star?
However, stars like the Sun have tremendous gravitational influence even during the red giant phase. The Oort Cloud supposedly has as many as 10 trillion cometary bodies that are under the gravitational hold of the Sun. But this extends perhaps to 50,000 AU (almost 1/4 the distance to our nearest neighbor). The larger planetary bodies are much, much closer to their host star and are not likely to float off due to the red giant phase (which is probably much more orange, btw. ).
Tony has provided some great stuff in this regard.
If so, what are the odds of one perturbing our solar system in the future or having done so in the past?
A great source of rogues likely comes from places like OMC-1 in Orion. As many as 30,000 stars per cubic light year may be forming. [This was from 2006 source and may have been revised since.] With such proximity, many planets and brown dwarfs are expected to be fleeing the scene, and not by choice.
We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.