According to a new study, Jupiter-like planets may push Earth out of life-friendly orbits. A pair of new studies suggest that planets similar to Jupiter, like giant playground attackers, may act as “agents of chaos” around other stars.
According to new research, gas giant planets that are the size of Jupiter or larger cause chaos in young planetary systems. It often drives smaller planets of Earth-sized way out of their original and circular orbits.
All of this instability is bad news for life on terrestrial planets like Earth. Because organisms require stable conditions to establish roots and grow. Just watch the 2011 film “Melancholia” to get an idea about how a planet’s environment will be permanently destabilized. If it is hit by or comes too close to, a neighbor.
A Four-Planet System Orbiting The Star HD 141399
Astrophysicist Stephen Kane says consider the nightmarish scenario of four massive planets orbiting a star known as HD 141399. Stephan conducted one of the new studies. He said in a statement that It’s as if they have four Jupiters acting like smashing balls, throwing everything out of balance. Stephan is a professor at the University of California, Riverside (UCR).
Computer models indicated that Earth would struggle to remain healthy in the presence of so many large planets. Kane stated that It’s very unlikely. There are only a few places where the gravitational attraction of the giants would not throw a rocky planet out of orbit. And send it shooting out of the zone.
Fortunately, Earth does not have that type of violent energy to deal with. In reality, Jupiter’s presence in our midst is beneficial. The gas giant’s huge gravity serves more like a shield. It shifts comets and asteroids away from our little globe. However, if Jupiter were in the midst of our habitable zone, our solar system would look very different.
The Habitability of GJ 357D
A second, similar study looked at GJ 357 which is a star just 30 light-years away from Earth. New estimations of a habitable zone planet, known as GJ 357 d suggest that it is almost ten times the mass of Earth significantly double the previous estimate.
Such a heavyweight would almost certainly prevent Earth-size planets from safely passing alongside unless the smaller planet’s orbit was highly elliptical. This means that the world moves closer to and then further away from its parent star in space.
According to Kane, who co-authored the second study with UCR postdoctoral scholar Tara Fetherolf, the orbits would result in unusual climates on those worlds. This paper is essentially a warning that when we locate planets in the habitable zone, we should not simply assume they can support life.
Both of these planetary systems show what would have happened if we had too many Jupiters in our nearby areas. Or if a single Jupiter got too near to us. Kane stated that our work gives us even more reasons to be grateful for the particular planetary configuration we have in our solar system.
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