The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has studied the solar system and revealed that there are only eight planets in our star systems after dethroning Pluto to a dwarf planet in August 2006. Despite the official declaration of the IAU, some planetary scientists still assume that an extra planet came into existence between Mars and Jupiter.
This is because the asteroids that made up the asteroid belt region between Mars and Jupiter inspired planetary scientists to think that the scattered space rocks should have come together to form a planet. A new University of California Riverside experiment seems to counter the assumption earlier made by these scientists. The new study revealed that an additional planet to our solar system would be disastrous for life on Earth.
How Scientist conducted the new experiment
Astrophysicist Stephen Kane of the University of California Riverside is the brain behind this latest study. The scientist began the experiment by activating a dynamic computer simulation of a planet between Mars and Jupiter. This simulated planet is measured with a range of different masses before evaluating their corresponding effects on the orbits of all the planets in the solar system.
“This fictional planet gives a nudge to Jupiter that is just enough to destabilize everything else,” Kane said. “Despite many astronomers having wished for this extra planet, it’s a good thing we don’t have it.”
The astrophysicist revealed that having another planet in this region of space could spell disaster on Earth. The scientist also revealed that Jupiter’s massive size could inspire the planet to unveil danger to other planets within the solar system because of its gravitational influence. The largest planet in the solar system is larger than all the planets combined. Hence, if an additional celestial body orbits closely to Jupiter, it could trigger the gas giant to cause severe dangers in the solar system.
Why A New Extra Planet Will Eject Other Planets into Outer Space
The scientist studied the simulated planet even further and revealed that it has the potential of ejecting Mercury, Venus, Earth, Uranus, and Neptune from the solar system into outer space. The hypothetical extra planet will be powerful enough to destabilize all planets’ orbits and drive them into interstellar space.
The scientist revealed that the Earth’s orbit would change significantly if any extra planet was formed in the solar system. Any change in the Earth’s orbit can make our home planet to become less hospitable to sustain life. This implies that Earth can move either move on an orbit that is closer to the sun or be adjusted farther away from the sun.
Kane went further to watch the hypothetical planet after reducing its mass and orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter. Scientist realizes that if the planet is smaller, it will remain in stable conditions for a long period. However, any small movement in any direction can make life impossible on Earth.
“Our solar system is more finely tuned than I appreciated before. It all works like intricate clock gears. Throw more gears into the mix, and it all breaks,” Kane finalized in the press release.
Based on the Scientist’s view, other planetary scientists will come to realize that our solar system is much better off the way it is as any slight change could unravel disaster upon life on Earth.
Scientific discoveries like this often create room for new knowledge in astronomy. However, newer studies will enable planetary scientists to unlock more mysteries about the solar system and the Universe at large. What do you think about this scientific discovery?