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Jupiter: friend or foe?

Horner, Jonti and Jones, Barrie W. (2008). Jupiter: friend or foe? Astronomy and Geophysics, 49(1) 1.22-1.27.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-4004.2008.49122.x
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Abstract

The idea that Jupiter has shielded the Earth from potentially catastrophic impacts has long permeated the public and scientific mind. But has it shielded us? We are carrying out the first detailed examination of the degree of shielding provided by Jupiter and have obtained some surprising results. Rather than Jupiter acting as a defensive presence, we found that it actually makes little difference – but if Jupiter were significantly smaller, the impact rate experienced by the Earth would be considerably enhanced. Indeed, it seems that a giant planet in the outer reaches of a planetary system can actually pose a threat to the habitability of terrestrial worlds closer to the system's parent star.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2008 Royal Astronomical Society
ISSN: 1468-4004
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Physical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 19416
Depositing User: Jonathan Horner
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2010 11:53
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2014 10:39
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/19416
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