Why is the Solar System so stable?

The long-term orbital stability of the inner planets in our Solar System is still an open problem: the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are highly stable over the lifetime of the Solar System, even though they are strongly chaotic.

In a study published on May 3rd 2023 in the Physical Review X journal, researchers from the Paris Observatory – PSL and CNRS explain this stability in terms of near‑symmetries and quasi‑conserved quantities.

“How Our Solar System Avoids Planet Collisions” Credits Laura Canil and Michael Schirber


Federico Mogavero, Nam H. Hoang and Jacques Laskar, “Timescales of Chaos in the Inner Solar System: Lyapunov Spectrum and Quasi-integrals of Motion”, Physical Review X, May 3 2023, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.13.021018

Scientific contacts at Paris Observatory – PSL

Press releases

For more information

  • Research news: “The Final Piece in the Solar System-Stability Puzzle?”,
    by Katherine Wright, Deputy Editor of Physics Magazine, May 3, 2023, Physics 16, 72.
  • Viewpoint: “Tackling the Puzzle of Our Solar System’s Stability”,
    by Daniel Tamayo, Department of Physics, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, California, May 3, 2023, Physics 16, 57.
  • Special Feature: "How Our Solar System Avoids Planet Collisions",
    comic strip, by Laura Canil and Michael Schirber, May 3, 2023, Physics 16, 73.
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