gravitational encounter

gravitational encounter

[‚grav·ə′tā·shən·əl in′kau̇nt·ər]
(astronomy)
An approach of two massive bodies in which the directions of motion of both bodies are altered by their mutual gravitational attraction.
References in periodicals archive ?
More complicated models and new results follow, with a theory of gravitational encounters developed in some detail, loss-cone dynamics, collisional evolution of nuclei with perturbational and mass-driven expansion.
On the other hand, it is likely that some planets are ejected from their early, turbulent solar systems, due to close gravitational encounters with other planets or stars.
The misalignments attest to rough-and-tumble histories and may suggest that life flourished on Earth because the solar system avoided the brunt of close gravitational encounters between planets.
The only way theorists can account for these wayward trajectories is by assuming that direct collisions combined with close gravitational encounters between objects.