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wd40
2015-Dec-20, 02:15 AM
A theoretical question: if a massive Shoemaker-Levy caused Jupiter, the most massive planet in the solar system, to ignite/disintegrate/become totally pulverized and dispersed, so that it suddenly ceased to have any gravitational influence at all, what would happen, if anything 1) to the Earth's 93 million mile distance from the Sun, 2) it's 67,000 mph speed around the Sun, 3) it's 1000 mph rotational speed on it own axis?

Jens
2015-Dec-20, 02:27 AM
It might be better to pose the question as, what would happen if Jupiter magically disappeared, because if an object large enough to disintegrate Jupiter entered the solar system, it would have lots of other effects. The answer would partly depend on what direction it came from.

Nowhere Man
2015-Dec-20, 02:28 AM
Anything real that would make Jupiter leave the Solar System would have profound effects on the rest of the planets. That said, if Jupiter were to magically disappear *poof* from the Solar System, then I think the effect on Earth would be minimal. We would note that it is no longer perturbing Earth's orbit, but that would be the extent of the effect. A very slight change to the orbit (and thus to the orbital speed) and no change to the rotation.

Also, please review the difference between "it's" and "its" below.

Fred

WaxRubiks
2015-Dec-20, 02:30 AM
so you're saying Superman isn't real?

antoniseb
2015-Dec-20, 03:16 AM
The sidereal date of Earth's perihelion would not change as rapidly as it does.

geonuc
2015-Dec-20, 10:54 AM
There was also the idea about Jupiter shielding Earth from some comets, while also tossing a few things our way. I'm not sure how astronomers stand on that now.

BigDon
2015-Dec-20, 07:04 PM
There was also the idea about Jupiter shielding Earth from some comets, while also tossing a few things our way. I'm not sure how astronomers stand on that now.

Shoemaker-Levy 9?

Spacedude
2015-Dec-20, 10:04 PM
Not sure if Jupiter's influence on the asteroid belt is a factor but it's sudden absence might stir things up a bit?

01101001
2015-Dec-21, 12:24 AM
A theoretical question: if a massive Shoemaker-Levy caused Jupiter, the most massive planet in the solar system, to ignite/disintegrate/become totally pulverized and dispersed, so that it suddenly ceased to have any gravitational influence at all, what would happen, [...]

Plus ša change...

What would happen to space-time if something huge suddenly accelerated/disappeared? (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?104771-What-would-happen-to-space-time-if-something-huge-suddenly-accelerated-disappeared)

Fiery Phoenix
2015-Dec-21, 03:13 AM
Not sure if Jupiter's influence on the asteroid belt is a factor but it's sudden absence might stir things up a bit?
Jupiter is thought to be the reason the asteroid belt has not coalesced into a planetary body, so I would imagine yes.

tony873004
2015-Dec-21, 04:21 AM
Here's a simulation:
http://orbitsimulator.com/gravitySimulatorCloud/simulations/1450669516732_deleteJupiter.html
It contains the solar system as of today, December 21, 2015, including Jupiter, and the largest asteroids.
Press the Play button ([>] on the time step interface).

When you get the urge, select Jupiter and press "Delete Selected".

In the "Collision Log" text area, the program is recording Earth's Longitude of Perihelion (argument of perihelion + longitude of ascending node). You can copy and paste this into a spreadsheet to make a graph.

DaveC426913
2015-Dec-21, 04:34 AM
A theoretical question: if a massive Shoemaker-Levy caused Jupiter, the most massive planet in the solar system, to ignite/disintegrate/become totally pulverized and dispersed, so that it suddenly ceased to have any gravitational influence at all
This doesn't directly answer your question, but might as well be accurate to head off any misconceptions.

Under any circumstances, Jupiter's complete disintegration and dispersal would still gravitationally affect Earth and everything else. The mass is all there, and still attractive, even as it speeds away.

Yes, once it fills a large volume of the solar system, the gravitational effect would change, but it would change slowly, and as a continuum - the gravitational influence changing only as the individual particles collectively moved closer or farther from their starting point in the solar system.

In an Einsteinian universe, masses cannot simply disappear, nor can their gravitational effects. They can only move.

You can't hand wave this away, even in this thought-experiment.

WayneFrancis
2015-Dec-21, 07:14 AM
A theoretical question: if a massive Shoemaker-Levy caused Jupiter, the most massive planet in the solar system, to ignite/disintegrate/become totally pulverized and dispersed, so that it suddenly ceased to have any gravitational influence at all, what would happen, if anything 1) to the Earth's 93 million mile distance from the Sun, 2) it's 67,000 mph speed around the Sun, 3) it's 1000 mph rotational speed on it own axis?

As I sneak peaked and saw Jens pointed out the problem I'll elaborate on it a bit more.
If something could even pulverize a gas giant the gas is still there. If you "burn it" it is still there. The problem is if you introduced enough energy into the Jupiter to over come the binding energy of Jupiter the rest of the solar system is going to suffer.

From memory it would take all of the Sun's energy for over a week to destroy the Earth so that it didn't just reform under its own gravity. Jupiter is over 300x larger. So you are talking about introducing the equivalent amount of energy of like 6 years of our sun.

I imagine anything like that would sterilize the Earth in very short order. I'll check if you have revised your question as I read through more posts.

danscope
2015-Dec-21, 10:21 PM
Don't take away Earth's vacuum cleaner !!! Lot's of stuff stays near or crashes into Jupiter that may have come into us.
Jupiter: It's a good thing. :)