Jupiter is often referred to as the protector of the Earth, but Saturn may just be the hero of the day.
Jupiter may not be the “planetary shield” that scientists place on it. However, new calculations suggest that Saturn is able to play a crucial role in the defense.
The concept of “Jupiter as a shield” arose due to the incorrect current in 1994 of George Waterill's paper (a planetary scientist from the Carnegie Institute, who died in 2006). This is evidenced by planetary scientist Kevin Grazer. The document argued that systems with “non-Jupiter” (that is, star systems with smaller planets, like Uranus and Neptune) would contain more comets, and that they “extracted fewer comets in interstellar space. ”
Grazer from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory tried to repeat the work of the author. The goal was to see how the results changed when tested with more advanced modern technology.
“You saw how the influence of Jupiter was told in all documentaries,” he said. He reasoned that Saturn is also a fairly large planet. “I just thought about it in theory and said that I do not believe.”
Grazer discovered through modeling that typical small bodies, between Jupiter and Saturn, would be pushed out. But many of them are thrown away after they go into the inner Solar system. Further calculations show that planetary cooperation reliably moves objects from the solar system. If there is only one planet, then only a small part of the objects is deleted.
Jupiter was always perceived as a shield, but a new document states that this is too superficial a look at things. In the photo (the interpretation of the artist) - the spacecraft Juno explores the planet
It was also found that the influence of Jupiter is more important when it comes to the deposition of volatile substances on the internal planets of the system, for example, the Earth. “Volatile substances” - compounds with a low boiling point, like water. It was established that Jupiter’s gravity slows down the passage of asteroids and comets through the inner part of the solar system, and this suggests that the material of these bodies will accumulate on our planet and other places.
Water is believed to come from comets and asteroids, but the exact source of terrestrial water is still poorly understood. For example, studies of the comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko with the Rosette spacecraft showed that the composition of water ice is different from that in Earth’s oceans. Therefore, comets such as Rosetta cannot be the source of its origin.
Grazer believes that the role of Jupiter is not in protection, but in the attraction of water and other volatile substances useful for life. But Saturn is more suitable for the role of our defender.