Astronomers Shed More Light On The Origins Of Jupiter

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The location and anomalous size of Jupiter have been a topic of concern for researchers for a while now since their understanding of planetary information does not match the reality. Now, astronomers might have shed more light on the formation and origins of Jupiter, a gas giant and the largest planet in our Solar System.

Giant planets, according to current models, migrate inwards, form in the outer reaches of a system and even end up closer to their star than they would be supposed to. However, this is not the case of Jupiter as it is orbiting in the thick of the Solar System even though it has the double size of all of the planets combined.

The origins of Jupiter appear to have been demystified by the new study. The formation of the gas giant, according to computer simulations, happened around four times farther out than its current location, slowly spiraling its way inwards over 700,000 years from the inside of the orbit of the current Uranus.

Scientists learned more about the origins of Jupiter, thanks to computer simulations

“This is the first time we have proof that Jupiter was formed a long way from the Sun and then migrated to its current orbit,” said astronomer Simona Pirani of Lund University in Sweden.

Trojans, some asteroids, were used as a base for the research. These share the orbit of Jupiter, and in front of it, there is one group of Trojans, while behind it there being other trails in curved regions centering on the Lagrange points of the planet. The group contains roughly 50 percent more asteroids in front of Jupiter compared to the following group. That is the conundrum.

“The asymmetry has always been a mystery in the Solar System,” said Lund University astronomer Anders Johansen. So, for the team to figure out the cause of such a strange imbalance, they ran simulations of the origins of Jupiter.


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