Jupiter : Devourer of Planets

June 21, 2022

Jupiter is one of the biggest planets in our solar system, it is the largest, and scientists think it may have gotten this big for a very particular reason.

3D Rendering of Jupiter with NASA textures.

A new study suggests the planet’s massive gravitational pull may have pulled nearby small planets into the planet’s gaseous atmosphere, basically “eating” the other celestial bodies. The findings come from the review of the chemistry beneath Jupiter’s cloudy outer atmosphere.

Looking into the plant’s cloud cover, the study used already obtain data to help construct the material making up the planet’s core. To the surprise of the scientists, the core of Jupiter contains a large number of heavy elements, allowing researchers to conclude the planet-eating theory.

“Jupiter was one of the first planets to form in our solar system,” in the first few million years after the solar system took shape around 4.5 billion years ago, lead researcher Yamila Miguel, an astrophysicist at Leiden University in The Netherlands, told Live Science. However, we know almost nothing for certain about how it formed, she added.

With the help of the data collected by NASA’s probe Juno, researchers have been able to conclude. The chemical data make-up suggests that Jupiter devoured baby planets to fuel its expensive diet.

“Juno provided very accurate gravity data that helped us to constrain the distribution of the material in Jupiter’s interior,” lead researcher Yamila Miguel said in a chat with LiveScience. “It is very unique data that we can only get with a spacecraft orbiting around the planet.”

Would you like to read more? Read the full article on Live Science

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