Why Don’t Pluto and Neptune Collide When They Orbit the Sun and What Is the Planet Pluto’s Orbital Inclination?

Since the tiny Pluto crosses the gas giant’s path, it is reasonable to think that the two would collide.

Perhaps Pluto would get caught by the larger planet’s gravitational force and become a satellite.

This doesn’t happen because Pluto’s orbital inclination, the angle of its orbital plane is 17°, while Neptune’s is 1.8°.

The two will never meet because they orbit the Sun at such different angles.

Pluto’s irregular orbit sometimes causes the farthest planet in the solar system to be the second farthest.

When Pluto crosses inside Neptune’s path, as is the case until 1999, Neptune is the farthest planet in the solar system.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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