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Nature. 2001 Apr 12;410(6830):773-9.

The role of chaotic resonances in the Solar System.

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  • 1Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, 60 St George Street, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H8, Canada.


Our understanding of the Solar System has been revolutionized over the past decade by the finding that the orbits of the planets are inherently chaotic. In extreme cases, chaotic motions can change the relative positions of the planets around stars, and even eject a planet from a system. Moreover, the spin axis of a planet-Earth's spin axis regulates our seasons-may evolve chaotically, with adverse effects on the climates of otherwise biologically interesting planets. Some of the recently discovered extrasolar planetary systems contain multiple planets, and it is likely that some of these are chaotic as well.

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