Orbital Radius of Earth
Name: C. Gerald
Date: Monday, June 17, 2002
As our solar system evolves, and the earth revolves, what
is the current scientific thinking on the future of each? Most
importantly, is the earth "moving" closer to or further from the sun?
The earth is not doing either one. The earth is in an elliptical orbit with
the sun at one focus. The earth will remain in this orbit until something
extreme happens. It is true that the presence of other planets can cause
slight variations, but nothing significant. So long as nothing the size of
a moon or small planet strikes the earth, nothing important will happen.
The earth's orbit is stable.
The great astronomical catastrophe that is most likely to destroy the
earth's orbit will come from the sun. The sun will eventually become a "red
giant", expanding far beyond the orbit of the earth. After this, I do not
expect the earth will exist anymore.
One interesting site that talks about planetary creation and evolution is
posted by NASA:
Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Illinois Central College
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Update: June 2012