(ORDO NEWS) — A new study has shown that the Earth could be even more hospitable to life if there was a change in Jupiter’s orbit.
Scientists from the University of California at Riverside have created an alternative solar system in which the orbits of the planets have been changed, including the orbit of the Earth.
Scientists have suggested that when the planet gets closer to the Sun, it receives more heat, and this affects the climate.
A study published in the Astronomical Journal says that in the search for life outside the solar system, attention should be focused on those planets that can maintain habitable conditions necessary for the emergence of life for a long time.
How will changing Jupiter’s orbit benefit Earth?
The researchers found that if Jupiter’s orbit became more eccentric, Earth’s orbit would move closer to the Sun. This would mean that some regions of the Earth that are now under the ice will become warmer and more habitable.
“If Jupiter’s position remained the same, but the shape of its orbit changed, this could actually increase the habitability of this planet,” said planetary scientist and study lead author Pam Vervoort.
A change in orbit would also mean a change in seasons on Earth. Regions of the planet can become favorable during one season and extremely hot or cold in another.
The study also showed that Jupiter’s proximity to the Sun would cause the Earth to tilt in an extreme manner, causing large areas of the Earth’s surface to freeze.
“It’s important to understand the impact Jupiter has had on Earth’s climate and how its impact on our orbit has changed us in the past and how it will change us in the future,” said UCLA astrophysicist and study co-author Stephen Cain.
The researchers want to apply this discovery to the search for habitable planets around other stars. So far, more than 5,000 planets have been discovered outside the solar system.
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