The influence of Jupiter, Mars and Venus on Earth’s orbital evolution

Horner, Jonathan and Gilmore, James B. and Waltham, Dave (2016) The influence of Jupiter, Mars and Venus on Earth’s orbital evolution. In: 15th Australian Space Research Conference (ASRC 2015) , 29 Sept - 1 Oct 2015, Canberra, Australia.

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Abstract

Summary: In the coming years, it is likely that the first potentially Earth-like planets will be discovered orbiting other stars. Once found, the characterisation of those planets will play a vital role in determining which will be chosen as the first targets for the search for life beyond
the Solar System. We must thus be able to gauge the relative importance of the various factors proposed to influence potential planetary habitability, in order to best focus that search.

One of the plethora of factors to be considered in that process is the climatic variability of the exo-Earths in question. In the Solar System, the Earth’s long-term climate is driven by several factors, including the modifying influence of life on our atmosphere, and the temporal evolution of solar luminosity. The gravitational influence of the other planets in the Solar
System adds an extra complication, driving the Milankovitch cycles that are thought to have caused the on-going series of glacial and interglacial periods that have dominated Earth’s climate for the past few million years.

Here we present preliminary results of three suites of integrations that together examine the influence of Solar System architecture on the Earth’s Milankovitch cycles. We consider separately the influence of the planets Jupiter, Mars and Venus, each of which contributes to the forcing of Earth’s orbital evolution. Our results illustrate how small changes to the architecture of a given planetary system can result in marked changes in the potential habitability of the planets therein, and are an important first step in developing a means by which the nature of climate variability on planets beyond our Solar System can be
characterised.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright © 2016 National Space Society of Australia Ltd. No evidence of copyright restrictions preventing deposit of Accepted version.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2017 23:53
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2017 03:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: Astrobiology, Exoplanets, Exo-Earths, Habitability, Climate change, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Milankovitch cycles
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
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32956

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