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Mars and Jupiter Colliding

Marcus MacGregor

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A few years back I had the idea that the topography of Mars could have been largely created by a close encounter with Jupiter. I posted it on several forums and got some great responses. (And some angry trolls, but hey it is the internet so what can you do)


The introduction video to this idea is here:



This is a flyby that tears out the Hellas basin. I found that a great many people thought that it went by the Roche limit. I'd just like to point out ahead of time that Mars has a fairly high density so the Roche limit does not come into play.


I made a video showing the location of some things around Jupiter because of this common confusion.



I just made a video showing what I consider to be the most easily grasped evidence of this:



I have a video planned for the trajectory of the event. I found that many people are convinced that falling into Jupiter or being flung out of the solar system are the only options. I found many planetary scientists I contacted recommended the L4 or L5 lagrangian point as the start of the trajectory. I have decided to adopt this rather than my initial idea of a highly elliptical Mars triggered by a orbital resonance. L4 would accelerate while L5 would decelerate leading to the correct Hamiltonian.


I also have a video planned for the timing of the event. One commenter noted that we would of totally noticed this happening. I guess he was thinking that it was breaking news. We have been watching Mars for quite some time and although it saddens me that I have to make it explicit- This event occurred before the invention of astronomy.


So I'm posting on this forum to see if there is other flaws of this idea that I have not addressed. I want to run it by as many people as possible before I start the laborious task of submission to journals.


So, if you think you have a debunking concept or just a facet of the idea that needs more depth please tell me. It may be something I have worked out already but have not mentioned, but hopefully it might be something that I have missed. I have had this idea for awhile so it appears obvious to me, I understand if it does not appear so to you; I'd like to know why you have a dubious perspective.


If you don't accept the idea but don't have a reason why, perhaps you can share it with someone who can come up with a reason.


If you like the idea and have a piece of supporting evidence I have not mentioned, that would be great too.


If you simply like the idea, I always appreciate a like, share or nice comment. The internet can be a very negative place.


Thank you.



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This is a brilliant idea, however I have some questions.

When would this have occurred? 

Have you talked to any academics about this?

Keep working on it though, and see if you can get it noticed, or researched in a lab with the math and simulations needed. 

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When Jupiter was at 3.5 AU (where Mars is now), Mars had not yet formed. By the time mars had found its way out of the planetary nebula, Jupiter had already moved far enough away. Sure, Jupiter might have stolen some mass and stunted Mars's growth, but the likely hood of the planetary body that would become Mars colliding with jupiter is far fetched: I suggest you read up on N-body simulations on the formation of our solar system.

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Oh I've done some reading.


The typical dating of the Hellas Basin is around 3.8 billion years. However this date is from crater counting and the event causes craters thus invalidating the method method. So there are a few different scenarios I am looking at. The more recent the date, the harder it gets to get a trajectory.


Mars is at around 1.5 AU; I think you meant 3.5 AU from Jupiter. The particular N-Body I reference is a letter to Nature around June 2011. It posits a 1.5 AU Jupiter around the Late Heavy Bombardment aka 3.8 billion years.


I contacted academics a few years ago when I first got the idea. I found that the closer their research was to Mars the happier they were to discuss it. :)

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