In this scenario, Earth could orbit closer to the sun, leading to less unlivable ice-covered regions.
- If Jupiter’s orbit became more eccentric, it could push Earth’s sub-freezing regions to warm, making those areas more habitable.
- A planet’s tilt, therefore, can have a major impact on its potential habitable zones.
- New research on this Jupiter-Earth relationship is meant to help understand other planets’ long-term ability to support life.
The shape of Earth’s orbit may change as well if the gas giant slightly altered its orbit, making it more eccentric (read: oval-shaped), leading areas of the blue planet to travel closer to the sun. As a result, there might be fewer inhospitable ice-covered areas and more potential for habitable zones.
That was the subject of a fresh study from a team at the University of California, Riverside that was released last week in the Astronomical Journal. The scientists developed a theoretical method that significantly modified Jupiter’s orbit by modeling data from the solar system as it is now understood.
According to Pam Vervoort, a UCR Earth and planetary scientist and the study’s primary author, “If Jupiter’s position remained the same but the shape of its orbit altered, it may actually boost this planet’s habitability.”
This might encourage researchers to focus more intently on examining distant exoplanets in order to find new habitable regions.
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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