Great balls of fire

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Offline science_guy

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Great balls of fire
« on: 20/09/2006 16:15:02 »
concerning meteorites...

I know for a fact that Jupiter is intercepting many asteroids from reaching earth, but exactly how many?  If Jupiter were to suddenly dissappear, how often would the earth be hit by a meteor?  I may not know the answer, but im still glad this is the solar system that happens to have it's own "jupiter" type planet on the outer parts of the solar system!

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Great balls of fire
« Reply #1 on: 20/09/2006 17:34:28 »
It's probably impossible to say how many objects are swept up by Jupiter & Saturn - the solar system's great vacuum cleaners. However, there are not likely to be many asteroids on a collision course with Earth that could be intercepted in such a way as the orbits of Jupiter & Saturn are beyond those of the asteroids.

Comets, on the other hand, have orbits that extend way beyond the outer limits of the solar system. Others may plummet towards the sun after being dislodged from the Kuiper belt or Oort cloud. However, the only instance I remember being recorded was the Shoemaker-Levy comet of 1994.

It is a good bet that Jupiter & Saturn no longer sweep as many as in past eons for the simple reason that many of them will already have been swept.

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Great balls of fire
« Reply #2 on: 20/09/2006 17:34:28 »
It's probably impossible to say how many objects are swept up by Jupiter & Saturn - the solar system's great vacuum cleaners. However, there are not likely to be many asteroids on a collision course with Earth that could be intercepted in such a way as the orbits of Jupiter & Saturn are beyond those of the asteroids.

Comets, on the other hand, have orbits that extend way beyond the outer limits of the solar system. Others may plummet towards the sun after being dislodged from the Kuiper belt or Oort cloud. However, the only instance I remember being recorded was the Shoemaker-Levy comet of 1994.

It is a good bet that Jupiter & Saturn no longer sweep as many as in past eons for the simple reason that many of them will already have been swept.

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Fledgling science site at http://www.sciencefile.org/SF/content/view/54/98/ needs members and original articles. If you can help, please join.