Saturn IS Defending Earth From Massive Asteroid Destructions!
Jupiter may not be the "planetary shield" that many scientists make the gas giant out to be but in fact, Saturn may play a crucial role in steering asteroids away from Earth.
The "Jupiter as a shield" concept arose from a misinterpretation of George Wetherill - a planetary scientist at the Carnegie Institution who died in 2006. Wetherill's paper argued that systems with "failed Jupiters" would have more densely populated cometary source regions, and that they eject a smaller number of comets into interstellar space.
Grazier, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who has also served as an advisor for "Gravity," told Seeker that he tried to replicate Wetherill's work from 1994. The aim was to see what had changed with the more advanced computing power of today.
Well, Jupiter has traditionally been thought of as a shepherd for wayward asteroids careening towards the inner solar system, but the new facts argue it as a crucial factor for humans.