Gas giant planets revealed as ‘agents of chaos’

Gas giants can prevent the emergence of life on neighboring planets, being “agents of chaos”. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from the University of California, who published the results of their research in the Astronomical Journal. Astronomers have compared the solar system, where gas giant Jupiter acts as a shield against asteroids, with the four gas giant system HD 141399. Several computer simulations have been performed. made to simulate the influence of large planets on the orbit of ‘a planet similar to Earth. in the habitable zone. This region is defined as the range of distances from a star where temperatures are warm enough for liquid water to exist on the planet’s surface. It turns out that there are only a few regions where the gravitational influence of the gas giants does not contribute to the planet moving out of the habitable zone. The researchers also studied the star system GJ 357, located just 30 light-years from Earth. The system is known to contain a planet, GJ 357 d, located in the system’s habitable zone and about six times the mass of Earth. According to new estimates, the mass of this planet is 10 Earth masses, so it does not belong to Earth-like planets and is most likely not suitable for habitation. The high mass of GJ 357 d reduces the likelihood that other planets exist in the habitable zone. Even if so, their orbits would be highly elliptical, creating harsh conditions in their atmospheres.