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Re: To the Sun

Thanks Bruce.    I was just kidding, though...   However, it is interesting to
know what would happen if it did miss the sun.


Bruce Bostwick wrote:

> >If it wasn't scheduled to crash in the day time, wouldn't it miss the sun,
> >possible hitting the moon?  I never did understand that stuff.
> Daytime is a function of where you are on the planet -- it's always daytime
> somewhere -- and the moon orbits the earth at a distance of about 240,000
> miles.  The earth and moon together orbit the sun at a distance of about 93
> million miles.  If we propelled an object (like Mir or anything else)
> toward the sun and missed, it would enter a comet-like highly elliptical
> orbit and cycle back and forth every few months or so.  The odds of it
> coming anywhere near the earth or the moon again are vanishingly small.
> There's also a remote chance that it could impact either Mercury or Venus
> if it passes close enough to either planet's orbital plane.  Very small
> probabilities in any case -- it would most likely continue to orbit for
> thousands if not millions of years, until solar drag slowed it down and
> caused enough orbital decay to make it strike the chromosphere of the sun.
> <BGB>

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