Jupiter: friend or foe?

Horner, Jonti and Jones, Barrie W. (2008) Jupiter: friend or foe? Astronomy and Geophysics, 49 (1). 1.22-1.27. ISSN 1366-8781

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Abstract

The idea that Jupiter has shielded the Earth from potentially catastrophic impacts has long permeated the public and scientific mind. But has it shielded us? We are carrying out the first detailed examination of the degree of shielding provided by Jupiter and have obtained some surprising results. Rather than Jupiter acting as a defensive presence, we found that it actually makes little difference - but if Jupiter were significantly smaller, the impact rate experienced by the Earth would be considerably enhanced. Indeed, it seems that a giant planet in the outer reaches of a planetary system can actually pose a threat to the habitability of terrestrial worlds closer to the system's parent star.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2008 Royal Astronomical Society.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2014 01:58
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2014 06:14
Uncontrolled Keywords: planets; Jupiter; habitation; evolution; extraterrestrial life
Fields of Research : 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020110 Stellar Astronomy and Planetary Systems
04 Earth Sciences > 0403 Geology > 040302 Extraterrestrial Geology
02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020101 Astrobiology
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-4004.2008.49122.x
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25348

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