Have you ever thought about what will happen to your solar system’s “perfect harmony” if it loses a planet? For example, the closest planet to the Sun is Mercury, right? Oh, it’s so small! So with Mercury gone, how’s Earth looking? Hmm, no changes in the solar system. It’s all about gravity.
Every object that has some mass attracts other objects because of its gravitational force. The larger the mass, the greater the force it has. Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system, so it’s not too massive in space terms. But what about other planets?
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– Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system, so it’s not too massive in space terms.
– At 50 million miles away, Mercury is no doubt far from Earth, so the gravitational force between the two of them isn’t that strong.
– Venus is the hottest planet in yourc solar system. One day here is almost 117 Earth days.
– There’s a massive asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Asteroids, as you know, aren’t Earth’s best friends.
– Jupiter usually holds them together with its strong gravity, but from time to time, they break free and start moving toward the Sun.
– Mars also has gravity to boast and acts somewhat like a slingshot that speeds up asteroids in the direction of Earth.
– Jupiter weighs 3 times more than all its neighboring planets combined!
– With its massive gravitational force, Jupiter has protected Earth from asteroids and other space debris over the past 4½ billion years!
– The sun’s gravitational pull is sending all that stuff toward the inner planets, and that includes Earth! There will also be some small changes in the orbits of other planets, but that would be some thousands of years later.
– It’s time for Saturn. You can’t mistake it for any other planet thanks to those gorgeous rings! Scientists say they’ll disappear one day as Saturn’s immense gravity pulls them down in an icy rain.
– Uranus is massive as well, the 3rd largest planet in the solar system.
– Without Neptune’s gravitational pull keeping things stable, orbits are crossing, and celestial bodies are crashing into each other!
– What about the Moon, though? Oh, my! What just happened to the Earth’s axis? It’s so tilted, even more than it was before! The weather down there has gone wild too – there are no more seasons at all, and new ice ages are on their way!
– The day now lasts only 6 to 12 hours because there’s no more pull of the moon to slow down the Earth’s rotation. There are no more lunar or solar eclipses to watch.
– It looks like out of all the planets in your sun’s complex system, only Jupiter’s disappearance would be a major problem for Earth. So I guess it’s true what they say: the solar system really is a delicate and harmonious balance!
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