Amid all the celestial ruckus and interstellar mumbo jumbo, we have been living quietly in a planet that makes life look calm. But if we travel a little backward in the solar time scale, we can easily figure out that life on earth has not always been so easy. There were large collisions (to the scale of planets rubbing off one another) at the birth of the solar system. Astronomers know that the solar system either way beyond the Goldie Lock zone continues to be a hostile sensation. How come things turn out to be so simple around us? Big brother Jupiter has shielded us from a gamut of space threats, and continues to do so. Here is how.
Frost Line Beyond
If you are a bird and you wish to flap wings beyond the frost line of the solar system, you need permission from Jupiter. That is as simple as that! Jupiter casts such mammoth influence on the outer solar system that it is almost a quasi-guardian of inner planets (like the earth). More on this soon.
The oort cloud director
The oort cloud is one among the two major asteroid belts of the solar system. Time and again, the oort cloud sends uncanny messengers to greet small planets. The last time it sent one to earth, the largest land animal faded in the smoke. The oort cloud seems to have snapped ties with the earth in the recent past. But that doesn’t mean there are no messengers. A fresher example would be the Shoemaker Levy 9.
What was Shoemaker Levy 9?
Shoemaker Levy 9 has been one of the most scintillating reminders of why life on earth has been a gift by the largest planet in our solar system. Not too long back in the past, astronomers watched in amazement as asteroids one after the other explosively merged with the phantom atmosphere of Jupiter, near its southern pole. Each asteroid left a visible ‘dent’ on the atmosphere of Jupiter, each dent comprising the size of our planet.
A large part of the scientific community argues that the Shoemaker levy 9 was actually the messenger of death for at least one of the inner planets! Jupiter, with its Herculean gravitational acumen, warped the asteroids in its own gravity. And there, just there, it could well have saved mass exodus of life on earth.
Balancer of the Sun’s gravity
The ultimate force of the solar system, our sun, does not attract planets with its Godlike gravity – it summons other bodies as well. Many of these ‘other bodies’ are asteroids like the Shoemaker Levy 9. But when these asteroids wish to move toward the sun, Jupiter mouth traps them and swallows the fire balls itself – just like it did with the infamous Shoemaker levy 9.
Jupiter spins way faster than the earth. This deadly spin of the planet clubbed with its badass gravity and hell-dense atmosphere, bring to life what we on earth call Jupiter’s whirlwind. In plain explanatory terms, the whirlwind is a phenomenon is so powerful that it makes several asteroids lose their trajectories and either dissolves them in Jupiter’s atmosphere or plainly tosses them out of vicinity. Ergo, Hail Jupiter!