Jupiter Acts as Galactic Shield Protecting Earth From Comets

July 25, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The Giant gas planet Jupiter hovering near the inner Solar System, with its powerful gravitational pull, took one for the home team so to speak, when it recently was hit with a space object, deflecting the object from possibly crashing into Earth.

Anthony Wesley from Murrumbateman north of Canberra, Australia first detected a new dark spot appearing on Jupiter on July 19, and it was confirmed to be an impact site from a space object, probably a comet.

Astronomers often refer to Jupiter as the Solar System’s vacuum cleaner. Because of its massive gravitational pull and close location, Jupiter is bombarded with the most comets and space objects than any other planet in the Solar System.

The second brightest “star” seen in the nighttime sky, serves as a galactic security defense system for Earth. However, Jupiter is also known to propel comets inward, aimed directly towards Earth.

Scientists point to an 18th century comet, named Comet Lexell, which Jupiter threw into a new orbit headed straight for earth. Fortunately, it missed our planet by a million miles, which is a narrow escape in galactic terms.

Astronomers believe that most of the comets crashing into Jupiter arrive from the frozen Kuiper Belt, located near Neptune. Jupiter sometimes deflects many of these comets inward in the direction of Earth.

But, Jupiter protects the Earth from most of the more deadly comets arriving from a region called the Oort cloud, which is about one light-year away from the Sun.

The last comet to hit Jupiter, was the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which crashed into the planet in 1994, leaving a scar the size of Earth that was visible for more than a year.



7 Responses to “Jupiter Acts as Galactic Shield Protecting Earth From Comets”

  1. I doubt it on July 25th, 2009 9:00 pm

    You guys write this like it was on a collision course with Earth, but it wasn’t, it was on a collision course with Jupiter. As the ‘source’ indicates, Jupiter throws as much our way in the way of comets and such, as it might save us from otherwise. Nice catchy headline, but based on bad facts.

  2. CharlesRKiss on July 26th, 2009 2:14 am

    “…deflecting the object from crashing into earth.” Yes, this is true. It will no longer be possible for the object to crash into Earth … (uppercase, that is), and not even the particles of earth on the Moon and/or in other locations distributed about the solar system; I mean, the sentence certainly doesn’t imply the comet was *destined* to crash into “Earth,” does it?… unless, they really did mean “earth”, in which case it probably did crash into earth, but it certainly won’t be crashing into any more of it, unless the particles of earth are on Jupiter, and the object hasn’t stopped crashing, which would make the sentence false. They can’t be writing about that, could they??

  3. Mike on July 26th, 2009 6:14 am

    This is, plain and simple, bad journalism and laziness. Your headline is totally wrong, you get many of the facts in the article jumbled or present them poorly and leave out critical information. Total crap. Stick to reporting on the love lives of celebrities. You suck as a science writer.

  4. Sue on July 26th, 2009 9:38 am

    Thanks to all the scientists out there for your comments and information. You all are 100% right; the headline should have better reflected the reality of the piece. Namely, comets frequently hit Jupiter, but not all of them are on a collision course towards Earth.

    Thanks for keeping me honest. Although I have no Science background, I do have experience reading technical documents, and I agree, I should have taken more care in presenting the scientific facts in a more precise fashion.


  5. CharlesRKiss on July 26th, 2009 12:09 pm

    “Jupiter throws as much our way in the way of comets and such, as it might save us from otherwise.”

    Sure would like to the the basis for this statement.

    Does “I doubt it on July 25th, 2009 9:00 pm” believe that Jupiter acts neither as a body deflecting more objects toward Earth, nor as a body deflecting more objects from Earth, but instead is a body of statistical inconsequence with respect to near Earth object collision danger?

    Sure would like to see the math on that one!

    Sue, I think all you had to do was uppercase the word “Earth,” and the article, including the headline would have been technically accurate -albeit trivial. I thought it was a nice twist. Maybe you can write more on the topic.

    Typos are always a bane, just find someone to review your articles very, very carefully -which I understand takes along time; I used to do posters …and made we a few bombs of our own, despite the reviews!

  6. Whys on July 26th, 2009 1:01 pm

    Nice one guys. Let yesterday’s down time be a lesson to you about using deceptive and sensational headlines.

  7. Twitted by MakeSolarPanels on July 26th, 2009 1:11 pm

    […] This post was Twitted by MakeSolarPanels […]

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