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Ceres and Vesta – a foretaste to a visit by the Dawn spacecraft

15 July 2011

Astronomy and Astrophysics journal is publishing a study of the orbital evolution of minor planets, including asteroids such as Ceres and Vesta, in the lead-up to the visit by the Dawn spacecraft. It seems that the earth's past orbit cannot be reconstructed beyond 60 million years ago, it is claimed. In other words, the past orbit of the earth is open to conjecture and it is not as cut and dried as uniformitarianism would have us believe. Indeed, it also means that paleo-climate research may be hampered – past climate cannot be reconstructed if the eccentricity of the earth is an unknown. Although they are fairly small objects as far as space is concerned, Ceres and Vesta interact with each other and with other planets in the solar system – continuously pushed and pulled from their orbits. Ceres and Vesta also interact with the orbit of the earth. Go to www.physorg.com/print229855656.html

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