Yes, Two Planets Can Both Share The Same Orbit

Yes, Two Planets Can Both Share The Same Orbit

“It’s no surprise that planetary orbits might also obey an orbit-swapping resonance, with Janus and Epimethius providing a spectacular example. You might object that these are moons around a planet, not planets around a star, but gravity is gravity, mass is mass, and orbits are orbits. The exact magnitude is the only difference, while the dynamics can be extremely similar.

Considering that we now know of exoplanetary systems that exist in great abundance around M-class, red dwarf stars, and that they appear analogous to either the Jovian or Saturnian systems, In other words, it’s totally conceivable that we’d have a planetary system somewhere in our galaxy with two planets (rather than moons) that do exactly this!”

Have you ever wondered whether two planets could potentially share the same orbit? I don’t mean temporarily: I mean indefinitely, such as for billions of years, lasting in the same orbit for as long as their parent star shall ever live?

It turns out that not only is it possible, but we’ve got an example in our Solar System that demonstrates exactly how it could happen. So, so cool.