I am wondering how will it affect earth or none at all.

Seeing that Jupiter by far is a gas giant and has really strong gravitational pull while Mars is mostly dormant, weak gravity and a terrestrial planet how will it affect Earth?

You see in my story/worldbuilding, there is this omnipotent spacewhale that can push, pull and instantly swap planets from their respective orbits and surprisingly not destroying the planet itself while doing so.

EDIT - This also swaps all orbital bodies surrounding the planet(Rings/Satellites), Now i suddenly want to know in those 2 scenarios (w/ or w.out orbital bodies)

I am wondering how will this affect the Solar system particularly Earth itself if the spacewhale swap mars and jupiters orbit.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Would all the Jupiter/Mars Moons, Trojans and other gravitationally dependent bodies be swapped too, or can we expect some presumably exciting meteorite behaviour as they react to the changes in the gravity wells? $\endgroup$
    – Kyyshak
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Kyyshak including all orbital bodies, rings and satellites. But what you've said does pose some good scenario $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure about this, but Earth would be massacred. Something about the Asteroid Belt too. $\endgroup$
    – giantfoot
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 18:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ One question per post, please, narrow enough that it doesn't need writing a whole book to answer it $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 18:31
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ This sounds like a job for a gravity simulator. I suspect it ends with everyone being flung into interstellar space, but there's an outside chance for "rocks fall, everyone dies". $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 19:22

2 Answers 2


Although the orbit of Earth may be affected, it's not only its orbit that we have to worry about.

Jupiter's location creates various points where asteroids collect naturally - as is evidenced by the following diagram:

enter image description here

Trojan, Hildas and Greek asteroid groups are currently in a fairly stable situation - swapping the massive Jupiter with Mars may cause gravitational disturbances throughout the system causing the stability of these asteroid areas to fall apart.

Furthermore, a large mass in Mars orbit could also deflect asteroids in the asteroid belt, causing many to fling off into unstable trajectories.

I would expect asteroid impacts and uncertainty to be much greater in your scenario.


Jupiter would appear as a much larger object in the sky. Probably as a small bright disc with visible bands of clouds.

The Earth might suffer some very slight orbital perturbations. The eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit changes slightly over a time period of 100,000 years, the orbit ranges from being a nearly perfect circle to being an oval and back to a near-circle again. A much closer Jupiter might well influence these changes slightly.

Jupiter would warm up and its appearance might change considerably after some time due to additional solar energy.

We would be thinking of sending humans to Europa rather than to Mars.

  • $\begingroup$ The entire asteroid belt will be drastically perturbed, with rather interesting potential side effects... And those "slight" changes of Earth's orbit may well prove to be quite important. Please show your work when you qualify them as "slight". $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 9:58

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