Jupiter: friend or foe? III: the Oort cloud comets

Horner, J. and Jones, B. W. and Chambers, J. (2010) Jupiter: friend or foe? III: the Oort cloud comets. International Journal of Astrobiology, 9 (1). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1473-5504

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Abstract

It has long been assumed that the planet Jupiter acts as a giant shield, significantly lowering the impact rate of minor bodies on Earth. However, until recently, very little work had been carried out examining the role played by Jupiter in determining the frequency of such collisions. In this work, the third of a series of papers, we examine the degree to which the impact rate on Earth resulting from the Oort cloud comets is enhanced or lessened by the presence of a giant planet in a Jupiter-like orbit, in an attempt to more fully understand the impact regime under which life on Earth has developed. Our results show that the presence of a giant planet in a Jupiter-like orbit significantly alters the impact rate of Oort cloud comets on Earth, decreasing the rate as the mass of the giant planet increases. The greatest bombardment flux is observed when no giant planet is present.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2009 Cambridge University Press. Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2014 02:57
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2014 00:13
Uncontrolled Keywords: asteroids; comets; long-period comets; minor planets; Oort cloud comets; planets and satellites; solar system formation
Fields of Research : 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020110 Stellar Astronomy and Planetary Systems
02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020108 Planetary Science (excl. 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: 10.1017/S1473550409990346
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25546

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