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Jupiter – friend or foe? III: the Oort cloud comets

Horner, J.; Jones, B. W. and Chambers, J. (2010). Jupiter – friend or foe? III: the Oort cloud comets. International Journal of Astrobiology, 9(1) pp. 1–10.

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It has long been assumed that the planet Jupiter acts as a giant shield, significantly lowering the impact rate of minor bodies on Earth. However, until recently, very little work had been carried out examining the role played by Jupiter in determining the frequency of such collisions. In this work, the third of a series of papers, we examine the degree to which the impact rate on Earth resulting from the Oort cloud comets is enhanced or lessened by the presence of a giant planet in a Jupiter-like orbit, in an attempt to more fully understand the impact regime under which life on Earth has developed. Our results show that the presence of a giant planet in a Jupiter-like orbit significantly alters the impact rate of Oort cloud comets on Earth, decreasing the rate as the mass of the giant planet increases. The greatest bombardment flux is observed when no giant planet is present.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2010 Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 1473-5504
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetSTFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
Extra Information: Related papers in the series:

Jupiter - friend or foe? I: the asteroids

Jupiter - friend or foe? II: the Centaurs
Keywords: asteroids; comets; long-period comets; minor planets; Oort cloud comets; planets and satellites; Solar System; formation
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 19407
Depositing User: Jonathan Horner
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2010 12:17
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2018 19:40
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