A new scientific study on the planet Jupiter claims that it is the largest planet in our solar system, partly due to the consumption of other planets.
A new study published in Astronomy and Astrophysics suggests the theory that the gas giant planet is filled with a number of baby planets.
“Jupiter was one of the first planets to form in our solar system,” Yamila Miguel, an astrophysicist at Leiden University in the Netherlands, told Live Science. However, little is known about how it formed.
In the new research paper, images from NASA’s Juno spacecraft allowed project team members to map Jupiter’s rocky core. “The chemical makeup suggests that Jupiter devoured baby planets, or planetesimals, to fuel its expansive growth,” according to Live Science.
Miguel also noted that the Juno data allowed the researchers to gather the new data needed to accurately measure Jupiter’s interior, which served as a critical aspect of the study.
“Juno provided very accurate gravity data that helped us limit the distribution of material inside Jupiter,” said Miguel. “This is very unique data that we can only get with a spacecraft orbiting the planet.”
The view is part of two major theories for how Jupiter collected its initial rocky core. One theory suggests that the planet is made up of billions of smaller space rocks.
The other theory, supported in the new study, claims that the planet’s core was formed by absorbing multiple ‘planetsimals’ spanning several kilometers in size. The research concluded: “Our results imply that Jupiter continued to accrete heavy elements in large quantities as its hydrogen-helium envelope grew, contrary to predictions based on pebble isolation mass in its simplest incarnation.”
The study hopes to provide a deeper understanding of Jupiter’s formation, as well as offer insight into how other planets beyond the red giant, such as Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, developed.
Jupiter, about 484 million kilometers from Earth, remains an intriguing point of exploration. In addition to NASA’s Juno exploration, the growing emphasis on both Mars and Jupiter became the focus of the emerging space industry.
Research regarding Jupiter also continued to progress as the planet was photographed and explored. Last July, NASA selected SpaceX to study whether Jupiter’s moon Europa has conditions that could support life.
According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the mission will mark the first “detailed investigations” of Jupiter’s large moon.
NASA has selected Falcon Heavy to fly Europa Clipper! Launched in October 2024, this interplanetary mission will study whether Jupiter’s icy moon Europe might have conditions conducive to life. https://t.co/KJt7Natn7i pic.twitter.com/sfcdrcKE77
—SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 23, 2021
The Daily Wire previously reported that according to SpaceX, Falcon Heavy is “the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two”. It can lift payloads of nearly 141,000 pounds into orbit.
The vehicle’s center thruster and two lateral thrusters contain twenty-seven Merlin engines combined, which can generate over five million pounds of thrust at takeoff.