A small change in the orbit of Jupiter would make life on Earth much friendlier, according to a study
The atmosphere of the Land, conducive to the development of life, it can improve a little more if a change occurs in the orbit of Jupiter, according to researchers.
If only this orbit were flatter, or “eccentric”, it would generate important changes in our planet’s.
Sounds simple, right?
Scientists from the University of California-Riverside they simulated alternative situations in the Solar System, discovering the possibility. The work was published in The AstronomicalJournal.
Pam Vervort, study leader, explained how the gas giant would influence the Earth. “If Jupiter’s position stayed the same, but the shape of its orbit changed, it could actually increase the habitability of this planet,” she noted, cited by Space.
“Many are convinced that Earth is the epitome of a habitable planet and that any change in Jupiter’s orbit, massive planet that it is, could only be bad for Earth. We show that both assumptions are incorrect.
The explanation of the influence of Jupiter on Earth and how we would benefit from a small change
The researchers argue that planets with a more circular orbit maintain a constant distance from their star, while the more eccentric, oval-shaped orbits bring the planets closer to and further away from their stars at different points in that orbit.
“Proximity to a star,” the scientists add, “determines how much radiation it receives and what it feels like, which means it affects a planet’s climate.”
Vervoort and his colleagues indicate that if Jupiter’s orbit became more eccentric, Earth’s would be pushed to become the same, more eccentric. Therefore, at times, our planet would be even closer to the Sun than it already is.
A) Yes, some of the coldest regions on Earth would become warmer, reaching temperatures in the habitable range (0-100 °C) for the wide variety of life forms on our planet.
“It is important to understand the impact that Jupiter has had on the Earth’s climate over time,” says astrophysicist Stephen Kane, another of the researchers, “how its effect on our orbit has changed us in the past and how it might change us once again in the future.”