One of the fascinating aspects of our Solar System is that many of its planets have contributed to making life possible on Earth. In other words, they contributed to our planet becoming a more habitable place.
But we all have to admit that our planet might have been a lot friendlier to life as we know it. All the natural disasters happening out there, such as floods, extremely high temperatures, earthquakes, droughts, and more, are indeed confirming it.
A more flattened orbit of Jupiter would have been beneficial for life on Earth
Thanks to University of California-Riverside (UCR) scientists, who ran some simulations, it was discovered that Earth would be more habitable if the orbit of Jupiter was more flattened, according to space.com.
Considering that there are 8.7 million species living on Earth, including plants, surely we may also be tempted to say that our planet is as habitable as possible. But that’s not the case.
Pam Vervoort, the leader of the study, explained, as space.com quotes:
If Jupiter’s position remained the same, but the shape of its orbit changed, it could actually increase this planet’s habitability,
Many are convinced that Earth is the epitome of a habitable planet and that any change in Jupiter’s orbit, being the massive planet it is, could only be bad for Earth.
We show that both assumptions are wrong.
According to previous observations, it’s well-known that Jupiter can also act as a guardian of the Earth, meaning that the gas giant can attract many of the large asteroids and comets that come too close. There’s no wonder why, as we’re talking about the biggest planet in the Solar System. Jupiter is so large that 1,300 planets the size of the Earth would fit inside of it.
The new study appears in The Astronomical Journal.