Wednesday , August 10 2022

Young Jupiter has been beaten beheaded by a massive newborn planet



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A colossal, immediate collision between Jupiter and a still-forming planet in the early solar system, about 4.5 billion years ago, could explain wonderful readings of NASA's Juno spacecraft, according to a study this week in the journal Nature.

Astronomers from Rice University and Chinese University Sun Yat-sen say that their predetermined scenario can explain Juno's previously misleading gravitational readings, which suggests that the core of Jupiter is less dense and more extended than expected.

"This is a puzzle," said astronomer Rice and student co-author Andrea Isella. "It suggests something happened that prompted the core, and that's where the giant impact starts to play."

Isella said that guiding theories of planet formation suggest that Jupiter began as a dense, rocky or ice planet, which eventually collected its thick atmosphere from the primordial disk of gas and dust that gave birth to our sun.

Isella said he was skeptical when study chief author Shang-Fei Liu first suggested the idea that the data could be explained by a giant impact that agitated Jupiter's core, mixing the dense contents of its core with less dense layers. above. Liu, a former postdoctoral researcher in the Isella group, is now a faculty member at Sun Yat-sen in Zhuhai, China.

"It seemed very unlikely to me," recalled Isella, "as a one-in-a-trillion probability. But Shang-Fei convinced me, by tapping, that this is not so unlikely."

The research team carried out thousands of computer simulations and found that fast-growing Jupiter can disrupt the orbits of nearby "planetary embryos," protoplanets that were in the early stages of planet formation.

Liu said the calculations include estimates of the probability of collisions under different scenarios and distribution of effective angles. In all cases, Liu and colleagues found that there is at least a 40% chance that Jupiter will engulf a planetary embryo within its first million years. In addition, Jupiter mass produced a "strong gravitational focus," which made head-on collisions more common than grazing.

Isella said the collision scenario became even more compelling after Liu arranged 3D computer models that showed how a collision would affect the core of Jupiter.

"Because it is dense, and with a lot of energy coming in, the ephemerel would be like a bullet that travels through the atmosphere and hits the core," Isella said. "Before the impact, you have a very dense core, surrounded by an atmosphere. The impact effect spreads things, diluting the core."

Effects at a step angle could result in the effective planet becoming gravitationally trapped and gradually sinking into the core of Jupiter, and Liu said that smaller planetary embryos are as massive as the Earth disintegrating in the dense atmosphere of Jupiter.

"The only scenario that has resulted in a core-density profile similar to what Juno measures today is a ripple effect with a planetary embryo about 10 times as massive as Earth," Liu said.

Isella said the calculations suggest that even if this effect occurred 4.5 billion years ago, "it could still take many, many billions of years for the heavy material to recombine into a dense core under the circumstances suggested by the paper."

Isella, who is also a co-researcher on the CLEVER Planets-funded, NASA-based RLE project, said the study's implications reach beyond our solar system.

"There are astronomical observations of stars that could be explained by this kind of event," he said.

"This is still a new field, so the results are far from solid, but because some people have been searching for planets around distant stars, they sometimes see infrared emissions that disappear after a few years," Isella said. "One idea is that if you look at a star, like two rocky planets colliding forward and crashing, you could create a cloud of dust that absorbs starlight and emits it again. that cloud of dust that emits light. And then after a while, the dust dissipates and that emission goes away. "

Juno's mission was designed to help scientists better understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. The spacecraft, launched in 2011, carries instruments to map Jupiter's gravitational and magnetic fields and probe the planet's deep, inner structure.
VIDEO is available at:

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Young Jupiter Was Smacked Head-On From Mass Newborn Planet

Houston TX (SPX) August 15, 2019

A colossal, immediate collision between Jupiter and a still-forming planet in the early solar system, about 4.5 billion years ago, could explain wonderful readings of NASA's Juno spacecraft, according to a study this week in the journal Nature.

Astronomers from Rice University and Chinese University Sun Yat-sen say that their predetermined scenario can explain Juno's previously misleading gravitational readings, which suggests that the core of Jupiter is less dense and more extended than expected.

"Thi … Read more


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