This simulation shows what might happen if a star was to pass through the solar system, severely disrupting it.
As well as the hypothetical star, the simulation contains the Sun, together with all known planets and major moons - ie, all Solar System objects with radii over 1,000 km.
If you run the simulation forward, you can watch what happens as the star approaches the solar system, ejecting the Earth, Mars, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto from the solar system, causing major changes in the other planets' orbits, and separating the Earth and the Moon. If you run the simulation beyond Neptune's closest approach to the Sun, you can see Triton become detached from Neptune, leaving a solar system composed of the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Triton, Jupiter, and Saturn.
If you run the simulation backward after first running it forward, you can watch the solar system reform itself.
You can try a vast range of experiments by editing the hypothetical star so that it approaches the solar system in different ways, or even try making it a binary star.
Copyright © 2005-2021, AstroGrav Astronomy Software