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Message started by Michael_C._Emmert on 10/09/05 at 18:26:37

Title: Xena for the New Planet
Post by Michael_C._Emmert on 10/09/05 at 18:26:37

:)Howdy, folks;

Tony turned me on to Gravity Simlulator when I posted to Space.com on my idea that Xena and Triton formed as a binary in the Sun/Neptune L4 or L5 point, and that this binary escaped the Lagrange point and flew by Neptune, dropping one object into orbit around Neptune and flinging the other into a high orbit.

It takes a little time to learn how to fly GravitySimulator!  Anyway, I have created several simulations relatated to this.

Tonight I demonstrated that such a flyby can get the distance needed for Xena to reach it's present perihelion.  In fact, I got a perihelion of 16,035,000,000 kilometers (aphelion 4,469,000,000 km.

I got this from a polar pass.  But it didn't get the inclination observed in Xena.

I used planetsonly for this simulation.  I gave Neptune four moons by copying Uranus' moons onto Neptune and naming them Aeriel, Umbilical, Titanium, and Obermensch.  The binary used in the simulation had two objects with the mass of Triton, 0.003581 Earth masses. a separation of 50,000 km, and girl's names (Vicki and Lisa, because either object could be captured) orbiting in the plane of the ecliptic, starting from 120,000,000 km in front of Neptune. 12 meters per second was subtracted from the Z velocity to get a polar pass; I also added to the X-vleocity from the base simulation which (after many adjustments) was set to hit Neptune.  Vicki escaped and Lisa went into an orbit 155,000 km x 6,000,000 km.  That's a bit close.

I thought of the Lagrange idea decades ago, and sure am glad I got GravitySimulator so I could try out ideas.  One idea I had at first was that maybe Triton hit an original moon of Neptune.  But having done some of these flybys, I now seriously doubt that.  An earlier simulation had one of the objects (that one was named Katrina) orbiting in the same plane as the four fictional moons (actually it was retrograde, 180 degrees).  I left that for a few hours while I read my e-mails and participated in Yahoo! News message boards.  When I got back, none of the moons had disappeared.

A later simulation from tonight with an ecliptic planar pass had Lisa pass just 8000 km from Aerial, and it hardly disturbed Aerial at all. :o  I would guess this is because Lisa was really moving fast.

I will be trying simulations later with the Xena/Triton (with girls names) orbiting 90 degrees to the ecliptic plane to see if this gets the inclination boost.

There's a bunch of simulations to do for this project 8)

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