It is completely safe to say that our solar system is unique. Scientists haven’t managed to come across any other life-supporting ones, so far. Apparently, we owe it all to a rogue baby planet Jupiter.
Let’s talk about we do know
The solar system has four terrestrial planets, which, incidentally, are the four closest to the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. The term terrestrial comes from the predominantly heavy metal content, such as iron and nickel. When compared to the other planets, these ones have a thin atmosphere and small size.
The gaseous planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are much larger. A first curiosity involves their distance towards the sun. Unlike other gaseous planets, these ones are pretty far away from their parent star.
Tech advancement helped us learn
For a great number of years we only had our only solar system to learn from. However, once we started sending space probes in the cosmos, we began to learn. So far, scientists were able to discover over three thousand exoplanets that are orbiting other stars and a lot of them find themselves in multi-planetary systems. While larger than our own planet, they present similar characteristics to Earth.
Some scientists believe that Jupiter played a crucial role in starting life on Earth. There is a theory according to which the sun was once surrounded by proto-planets. As they started to form, their orbit was affected by Jupiter as it migrated inward (the Grand Tack scenario). As it moved closer, Jupiter made the other planets to lose their way and start bumping into each other.
The resulting planet pieces either made their way into the sun, or they floated into space. As Saturn began to form, Jupiter was pulled back to its current place, allowing for the planet remnants to pile together and form a second generation of planets. Also, Jupiter could’ve flung icy asteroids from the asteroid belt towards Earth, and that’s a possible way of water getting on our planet.
Laura grew up in a small town in northern Quebec. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Laura is an advocate for people with disabilities.