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I'm not talking about those nasty Mercurians, bent on domination of the entire Solar System. No, this is a more insidious threat: Jupiter, King of the Planets, is yanking Mercury this way and that, altering its orbit such that it will one day either fall into the Sun, be ejected from the Solar System entirely, crash into Venus, or - and here's where we should really care - plummet into our little blue world.

Click the image to learn more about this story's Red Shirt character.

That's right. Jupiter's gravitational influence will one day tear apart the inner Solar System. Nice. And to think it used to be my favorite planet. Thanks a lot, Jupiter. Dude.

Click the image to learn more about this story's antagonist.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 3rd, 2008 07:52 am (UTC)
Well, at least Jupiter's been protecting us pretty well in the meantime, as in sucking up Hale-Bopp for us, not to mention who knows how many asteroids and comets in years past.

I think that if we can't figure out a way to establish a presence outside the solar system by the time Jupiter sends Mercury for a visit, we're probably haven't proven we deserve to survive anyway. I don't think the powers-that-could-be would be too impressed with our argument that "well, Congress wouldn't fund any research, so it's not our fault!"

May. 3rd, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
True, true.

Your second paragraph suggests that human nature (or at least political-creature nature) will evolve as we do. Hm.
May. 3rd, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)

"Thanks a lot, Jupiter. Dude."

This is now my new favorite quote.
May. 5th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
As someone pointed out in a comment, it is possible to nudge asteroids with near-future technology. Nudge them far enough, and they can be used to nudge planets by energy-stealing or energy-adding orbital close encounters.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )