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There has been a lot of media attention over the possibility of asteroids and meteors striking Earth and causing cataclysmic damage, but now some scientists are saying that the planet Mercury could also possibly smash into our planet. Huh? That sounds bad.
Jacques Laskar of the Paris Observatory, as well as Konstantin Batygin and Gregory Laughlin of the University of California, Santa Cruz reached the same unsettling conclusion using separate computer simulations of long-term planetary motion.
According to Laughlin, "The solar system isn't as stable as we'd thought."
Specifically, both teams found that Jupiter's gravity could eventually make Mercury's orbit so out of round that it overlaps with the path of Venus. This kind of close encounter would potentially send the inner solar system into chaos.
"Once Mercury crosses Venus's orbit," Laughlin says, "Mercury is in serious trouble."
BUT, don’t start worrying just yet. There's only about a 1% chance that any of this will happen before the Sun becomes a red giant billions of years from now (and destroys life on Earth anyway). Even though the inner solar system may not be quite as stable as once supposed, on the other hand, it doesn’t appear to be headed for disaster anytime soon.
Great Britain's Astronomer Royal and respected professor of astrophysics at Cambridge University claims in his book 'Our Final Century' that humans have only a 50-50 shot of making it through the 21st century—let alone another billion years. If Rees turns out to be THAT wrong, then we will have great reason to celebrate.
In other words, if and when an impact does happen a billion years from now, humans will likely have already been long extinct or have evolved into an extremely advanced space-faring species that defied all odds.
Since we know Einstein was wrong, we can assume that our theories of gravity are also wrong.
Gravity is a dielectric force, it is inherently tied to the electromagnetic properties of matter.