Jupiter’s large orbital journey across the early solar system may have cleared the way for the oddball arrangement of our planetary system, scientists say – even to the point of destroying burgeoning young planets.
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology created a model for the formation of Jupiter and Saturn, dubbed ‘Grand Tack,’ which shows Jupiter’s migration towards the sun – the area of the inner solar system, where planets like Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars exist – until Saturn is formed. Saturn’s formation caused Jupiter to reverse course and migrate outward to its current orbit.
In other exoplanet systems, there is generally evidence of super-Earths that have formed, which are planets 10 times the mass of Earth.
“[Those planets] tend to have very thick and massive atmospheres with pressures that exceed that of the Earth by factors of hundreds, if not thousands,” lead study author Konstanti Batygin, a planetary scientist at Caltech in Pasadena, told Space.com.
These super-Earths are conspicuously absent in our solar system, so researchers think they may have existed in the inner solar system before Jupiter’s migration. They theorize that as Jupiter moved inward and then outward, its gravitational pull would have set off a series of collisions that smashed the newborn planets to pieces.
“It’s the same thing we worry about if satellites were to be destroyed in low-Earth orbit,” co-author Gregory Laughlin, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said in a statement. “Their fragments would start smashing into other satellites and you’d risk a chain reaction of collisions. Our work indicates that Jupiter would have created just such a collisional cascade in the inner solar system.”
Scientists say the resulting debris would have mostly spiraled into the sun and caused a second generation of inner planets to form later from the depleted material. This could explain why Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are younger than our outer solar system planets, with smaller and with thinner atmospheres.
“While Earth-mass planets may indeed be plentiful in the galaxy, truly Earth-like planets, with low atmospheric pressure and temperatures on the surfaces, are likely an exception to the rule,” said Batygin.
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For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:- 2 Peter 3:5 (KJV).
”..keep that which is avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith…” (1 Timothy 6:20-21 KJV).
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ – Colossians 2:8 (KJV).
And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke (Acts 2:19 KJV). “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars…” Luke 21:25 (KJV).
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse – Romans 1:20 (KJV).
Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:- Amos 5:8 (KJV).
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork -Psalm 19:1 (KJV).
Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars. Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number – Job 9:9-10 (KJV).
…”Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion?” Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites? “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth?…- Job 38:31-33