Which Two Planets Sometimes Switch Places in Their Orbits?

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The two planets that sometimes switch places in their orbit include Neptune and Pluto. Find out which two planets sometimes switch places in their orbit with help from an experienced education professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: About Astrophysics & Outer Space
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist. And this is which two planets sometimes switches their places in orbit? So here we have a side view of the solar system. I'm only including Neptune and Pluto because those are the two planets. So here we have the orbit of Neptune around the Sun. And here we have the orbit of Pluto around the Sun. So as you can see it crosses Neptune twice. And sometimes it's actually closer to the Sun. You can see it from here. Lets say that this is the orbit and then this one we can be something like this. So depending on where it crosses it can actually go in front of Neptune momentarily. And the last time they crossed it was in 1999. And it's going to take like another 228 years for Pluto to switch back with Neptune again. Now the one thing to know here is that the orbital, the revolving plane of Pluto is actually tilted by 17 degrees. So they actually don't have any chance of collision to be honest. Because of the way that their orbits work gravitationally. The closes actual distance they will get from each other is two billion kilometers which is fairly fast. So we don't have to worry about Pluto and Neptune ever colliding. My name is Eylene Pirez and I'm an astrophysicist. And this is which two planets switch orbits in the solar system?

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