What if Jupiter didn’t exist?

The positioning of Jupiter in the solar system is very important for the Earth’s existence, scientists believe.

Research suggests that Jupiter, the ‘gas giant’, is the oldest planet in the solar system. It is understood that without Jupiter’s gravitational pull, the Earth would not exist. It would seem that the Earth relies on the exact orbital positioning of Jupiter for its existence. Earth is also reliant on Jupiter following a stable circular orbit, because a more elliptical one would have also affected the likelihood of Earth forming.

There remains some discrepancies in terms of theories, but evidence suggests that Jupiter also helps to protect the Earth by pulling asteroids and comets away from our planet and towards itself. 

Recent calculations show that without Jupiter the chances of an asteroid hitting Earth (if it could hypothetically exist without Jupiter) would be 10,000 times more likely.

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