The role of Jupiter in driving Earth’s orbital evolution: an update
The role of Jupiter in driving Earth’s orbital evolution: an
|Authors||Horner, Jonathan (Author), Gilmore, James B. (Author) and Waltham, Dave (Author)|
|Editors||Short, Wayne and Cairns, Iver|
|Journal or Proceedings Title||Proceedings of the 14th Australian Space Research Conference (ASRC 2014)|
|Number of Pages||14|
|Place of Publication||Sydney, Australia|
|Web Address (URL) of Paper||http://www.nssa.com.au/14asrc/|
|Conference/Event||14th Australian Space Research Conference (ASRC 2014)|
14th Australian Space Research Conference (ASRC 2014)
Australian Space Science Conference (ASSC)
29 Sep 2014 to end of 01 Oct 2014
In the coming decades, the discovery of the first truly Earth-like exoplanets is anticipated. The characterisation of those planets will play a vital role in determining which are chosen as targets for the search for life beyond the Solar system. One of the many variables that will be considered in that characterisation and selection process is the nature of the potential climatic variability of the exoEarths in question.
In our own Solar system, the Earth’s long-term climate is driven by several factors – including the modifying influence of life on our atmosphere, and the temporal evolution of Solar luminosity. The gravitational influence of the other planets in our Solar system add an extra complication – driving the Milankovitch cycles that are thought to have caused the ongoing series of glacial and interglacial periods that have dominated Earth’s climate for the past few million years.
Here, we present the results of a large suite of dynamical simulations that investigate the influence of the giant planet Jupiter on the Earth’s Milankovitch cycles. If Jupiter was located on a different orbit, we find that the long-term variability of Earth’s orbit would be significantly different. Our results illustrate how small differences in the architecture of planetary systems can result in marked changes in the potential habitability of the planets therein, and are an important first step in developing a means to characterise the nature of
|Keywords||astrobiology; exoplanets; exo-earths; habitability; Jupiter; Milankovitch cycles|
|ANZSRC Field of Research 2020||510109. Stellar astronomy and planetary systems|
Copyright © 2015 National Space Society of Australia Ltd.
|Byline Affiliations||Computational Engineering and Science Research Centre|
|University of New South Wales|
|University of London, United Kingdom|
|Institution of Origin||University of Southern Queensland|
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