Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

Mystery Planet May Have Saved Earth

SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 11 (UPI) — Jupiter may have knocked a giant planet out of the early solar system thus saving the Earth from a possible cosmic collision with Mars, U.S. astronomers say.

At a relatively short 600 million years or so after the solar system formed, Jupiter and the other giant outer planets, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, were bombarded with chunks of ice and rock, most of which were thrown out into an area beyond Neptune’s orbit now known as the Kuiper belt.

The impacts also shoved Jupiter and its giant neighbors inward toward the sun with changes in Jupiter’s orbit that computer models said should have had disastrous effects on the inner planets, possibly even pushing Earth into collision with Mars or Venus.

Researchers at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, looking for a reason why that didn’t in fact happen, came up with the theory of a fifth giant planet that played a part in restraining the orbital “dance” of Jupiter, the Houston Chronicle reported Friday.

A collision between Jupiter and either Uranus or Neptune would have explained it, they said, but such a collision would have sent Uranus or Neptune flying off into space, too.

The only thing that would make sense, Southwest researchers decided, was if a fifth — and now long disappeared — giant planet had existed alongside Jupiter and the others.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Mystery Planet May Have Saved Earth”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.