Planet that could end life on Earth

(ORDO NEWS) — A new experiment demonstrates the fragility of our solar system. Just one planet orbiting between Mars and Jupiter can push the Earth out of the solar system and destroy life on it.

Stephen Kane, an astrophysicist at the University of California at Riverside, came to this conclusion. However, he explained that his experiment was not aimed at intimidation, but at the elimination of two noticeable gaps in the sciences of the planets.

As you know, the solar system is very heterogeneous. There are small rocky planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. There are also gas giants: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Pluto, as you know, was excluded from the ranks of the planets.

The largest terrestrial planet is our Earth. At the same time, the smallest gas giant – Neptune – is four times larger and 17 times more massive than the Earth.

And there is nothing “middle” between them.

“In other star systems, there are many planets with masses in this gap. We call them super-Earths,” Kane explained.

Another “complexity”: a physical gap in the orbits. Between Mars and Jupiter, there is a lot of “living space” not occupied by any planet.

Studying these gaps helps scientists understand how our solar system (SS) is organized and how the planet Earth has evolved.

Kane created a computer model that showed how the structure of the SS would change if planets with different masses appeared between Mars and Jupiter.

The scientist observed what effect such an introduction of an additional planet would have on the orbits of all other planets.

In most cases, the course of events was catastrophic for the solar system.

“This fictional planet is giving Jupiter enough of a boost to destabilize everything else,” Kane said. “Despite the fact that many astronomers dreamed of this extra planet, it’s good that we don’t have it.”

Jupiter is much larger than all the other planets combined. This giant is 318 times more massive than the Earth, and therefore its gravitational influence on all the planets around is very large.

If a super-Earth in our solar system, or a passing star, or any other celestial object of sufficient mass were to disturb Jupiter even a little, all the other planets would suffer greatly.

The planets would begin to move like balls after the billiard player hit.

Depending on the mass and exact location of the hypothetical super-Earth, its presence could eventually eject Mercury and Venus from the solar system, as well as our Earth. In addition, it can destabilize the orbits of Uranus and Neptune, throwing them into outer space.

Also, the super-Earth will change the trajectory of the Earth around the Sun, making our world much less habitable. If he does not end life on the planet at all.

Kane tried to reduce the mass of the planet and place it directly between Mars and Jupiter. In this case, the ninth planet remained in a stable orbit for a long period of time. But as soon as she makes the slightest movement in any direction, “things will go badly,” the scientist said.

The study has implications for the search for life in other planetary systems. Although Jupiter-like gas giants far from their stars are only found 10% of the time, their presence could determine whether neighboring Earths or super-Earths will have stable orbits.

The results of the study, which were published in the Planetary Science Journal, restored Kane’s respect for the subtle order that holds the planets together around the sun.

“The solar system is tuned more precisely than I thought before. Everything works like intricate clockwork. Add more gears to the mix and everything breaks,” Kane summed up.


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