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Jupiter: Friend Or Foe?

Heavy bombardment. (Credit: Copyright Julian Baum)

Science Daily
The traditional belief that Jupiter acts as a celestial shield, deflecting asteroids and comets away from the inner Solar System, has been challenged by the first in a series of studies evaluating the impact risk to the Earth posed by different groups of object.
On Friday 24th August at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Dr Jonathan Horner presented a study of the impact hazard posed to Earth by the Centaurs, the parent population of the Jupiter Family of comets (JFCs). The results show that the presence of a Jupiter-like planet in the Solar System does not necessarily lead to a lower impact rate at the Earth.
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