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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:01 PM

Do Missing Jupiters Mean Massive Comet Belts?

Using ESA's Herschel space observatory, astronomers have discovered vast comet belts surrounding two nearby planetary systems known to host only Earth-to-Neptune-mass worlds. The comet reservoirs could have delivered life-giving oceans to the innermost planets.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127111245.htm


Astronomy was always exciting, but it just keeps getting more so.

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Reply Do Missing Jupiters Mean Massive Comet Belts? (Original post)
DavidDvorkin Nov 2012 OP
longship Nov 2012 #1
DavidDvorkin Nov 2012 #2
JackRiddler Nov 2012 #3

Response to DavidDvorkin (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:49 PM

1. Good news, and bad news.

The good news:
The comet reservoirs could have delivered life-giving oceans to the innermost planets.


The bad news: They keep coming into the inner solar system, striking the planets there because there's no freaking Jupiter-sized gas giant to shepherd the comets away from the inner planets.

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Response to longship (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:26 PM

2. Good point

Maybe there's life on the inner planets there, and it's remarkably adaptable.

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Response to longship (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:51 PM

3. Presumably.

Perhaps also they originated by having another system brush by at some point tens of millions of years ago, breaking up larger planets into a comet belt.

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