Do the planets in the solar system crash? Is it true that Pluto and
Neptune have intersecting orbits and that at one point Neptune is the
farthest planet from the sun?
All the planets in the solar system have individual orbits. The orbits
don't intersect so none of the planets can crash. Pluto and Neptune are
in a unique situation. They look like they might crash, but they really
Right now, Pluto is the eighth planet from the Sun although it is
usually the ninth. It moved closer to the Sun than Neptune in 1979 and
will stay there until 1999. It looks like Pluto crossed Neptune's
orbit, but it didn't.
Pluto's orbit around the sun is very elliptical, or egg-shaped. Neptune's
orbit is more circular. Also, Pluto's orbit is tilted 17 degrees above
Neptune's orbit. Because of the tilt, the narrow part of Pluto's orbit
dips closer to the sun than Neptune.
Submitted by Ken (age 8, Ontario, Canada)
Submitted by Ryan (age 15, Nova Scotia, Canada)
(September 22, 1997)
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