Jupiter ate a planet – Direct collision theory

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Scientists are a little confused about the core of Jupiter. It has both solid rock as well as hydrogen gas bubbles in its composition. One interesting theory is that the gas giant ate a planet during the formation of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago.

Direct collision theory

A direct collision would have had chaotic consequences but in such cases, celestial objects tend to regenerate over time. In some cases, one tends to absorb the other, depending on the chemical processes and on the gravitational pull the objects are manifesting.

The collision theory is being favored by scientists because it could explain the mixed core of the planet. An international team of researchers is performing a study with data from the Juno space probe.

Juno spacecraft

The craft began its orbit around the planet in 2016 and will be plunged into the atmosphere at the end of its mission. Juno’s goals are studying the planet’s composition. It is also gathering data on its gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere.

The formation of the planet is the end goal for Juno. As all the data it is gathering is meant to for a clear picture of Jupiter’s origins. The craft is special due to its design. It has been equipped with solar arrays, similar to those installed on satellites that orbit Earth.

Other orbiters that have been sent into space generally use the radioisotope thermoelectric generator model to receive power. The solar arrays are the probe’s power source but also act as stabilizers.

Data backing up theory

Many explanations for the formation of Jupiter have been tested and exhausted in simulations. It is widely believed that the early solar system was very chaotic and impacts were common, even at this scale.

The data collected from the observation of Jupiter does indicate that the theory of direct impact has weight. Everything is still just theoretical at this point in time due to the limitations of science on many levels.


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