Monte Carlo Simulations of Stellar Planet Capture and Orbital Perturbations in Rogue Star – Solar System Interactions
Alan J. Scott

Monte Carlo simulations have been performed on gravitational trajectories of objects within the Solar System when a rogue star passes through it. One result is that there is a 4.0  0.1 percent likelihood of Earth being captured by a rogue star under the conditions that the star has one solar mass, an initial velocity magnitude randomly selected within  40 percent Earth’s orbital speed, spherically isotropic distant starting positions, and randomly selected initial velocity direction that would cause the star to have an impact parameter within 7 AU of the Sun. Thus, showing an alternative to the expected demise of the Earth when the Sun becomes a red giant billions of years into the future. It is observed that the eccentricity increases for planets remaining bound to their parent star after such encounters. This result is consistent with the scenario that observed, unexpectedly high, eccentricities of extra-solar planetary orbits reflect encounters with rogue star-like objects. Furthermore, the likelihood of extra-solar planets being ejected from their original star system, from such encounters, increases with larger semi-major axes.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijpa.v6n1a1