What Would Happen to Our Solar System If Jupiter Didn't Exist?

By Casey Chan on at

Our solar system is weird. Not only because we’re unique little snowflakes on a blue marble called Earth but because other stars usually have their giant planets (i.e. their Jupiter) orbiting them at a much closer distance. This is really common in other systems! Our Jupiter, however, doesn’t work like that. Why?

Life Noggin explains that scientists don’t exactly know yet but one theory suggests that a wandering Jupiter managed to pull away from the Sun and in doing so, also created the rockier planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Which is to say, without Jupiter, we might not exist! Jupiter’s gravitational pull also helps protect us in other ways too (like pulling asteroids towards itself and away from us).