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Why is Jupiter so big? It turns out it picked up a big bargain

Jupiter picks up the slack

By Fei FeiPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

Jupiter and Saturn are the first and second largest planets in the solar system respectively, with Jupiter's average diameter being about 139,822 km and Saturn's average diameter being about 116,464 km. In terms of volume, Jupiter is not much bigger than Saturn, but in terms of mass, Saturn is far less than Jupiter, as Saturn's mass is about 5.6834 x 10^26 kg, while Jupiter's mass is about 1.8982 x 10^27 kg

The difference between the second largest planet in the solar system and Jupiter is so wide, not to mention the other planets the mass of Jupiter is more than two times the sum of the mass of the other planets in the solar system, can be said to be "proud of the stars", so the question arises, why Jupiter is so big? The answer is: because at the beginning of the formation of the solar system, it picked up a big bargain.

There are a huge number of stars in the observable universe, among which there are "old" ones, "young" ones, and of course, those at the beginning of their life. If we observe enough stars, we can collect stars in all stages.

In the past, scientists have observed a large number of stars at the beginning of their lives, and analysis has shown that all of these stars evolved from primordial nebulae without exception.

In simple terms, the original nebula collapses under the effect of gravity, in the process, the material in the nebula will continue to gather towards its gravitational center and eventually form a shining star, after which the remnants of the nebula will orbit around the new star while accrediting each other, and then form several objects around the new star.

So there is every reason to believe that our solar system also formed from a primordial nebula. This is the prevailing view in the scientific community, and scientists believe that our solar system was born about 4.57 billion years ago from a primordial nebula called the "solar nebula" that evolved after a gravitational collapse.

The formation of the Sun and its planets can be divided into four steps: 1) the "solar nebula" began to collapse; 2) the Sun formed at the center of the nebula; 3) the remnants of the nebula formed a disk-like structure called the "planetary disk" around the Sun; 4) the "planetary disk" was formed in the middle of the nebula. The material in the "planetary disk" continues to Crete with each other, eventually forming the eight planets we see today.

According to common sense, the closer the "planetary disk" to the Sun, the dense the material in the region, so closer to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars should be larger than Jupiter, but we all know that the actual situation in the solar system is not the case, why? This is explainable.

The three phases of water can be seen from the diagram, in the absence of pressure or low pressure, water can not exist in liquid form, in fact, for other substances, such laws are also applicable. Since there is no environment with stable pressure in the planetary disk, almost all matter in the disk can only exist in gaseous and solid forms.

Ideally, the solid matter would snowball by colliding and accrediting with each other, and when its mass reaches a certain level, its gravitational force would be sufficient to attract nearby gas, and then further increase.

However, in regions closer to the Sun, such an "ideal situation" does not exist, because the Sun, on the one hand, the heat of the Sun will make many volatile substances (such as water, ammonia, methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, etc.) can only exist in gaseous form, and on the other hand, the stellar wind released by the Sun will also, On the other hand, the stellar winds released by the Sun will continue to drive the gas outward from the "planetary disk".

This results in relatively little solid matter and a continuous outward escape of gaseous matter so that only rocky planets of relatively small size and mass form in this region.

As the distance from the Sun increases, the temperature decreases, and when the distance increases to a certain level, the volatile material will condense into solids, which become easy to Crete.

We can call the distance just enough for volatile substances to condense into solid particles the "freeze line", and since the "freeze line" varies for each volatile substance, the "freeze line" of the solar system "According to scientists' estimates, at the beginning of the solar system, the "freeze line" ranged from about 2.7 to 5 astronomical units from the Sun.

It is conceivable that if a planet is formed at the outer edge of the "freeze line", then it is undoubtedly a great bargain because it can get a lot of solid matter here, and then grow rapidly.

According to scientists, the mass of Jupiter, which is located at the outer edge of the "freeze line", increased to the extent of binding hydrogen and helium within 3 million years after the formation of the Sun, after which Jupiter began to absorb a lot of material (mainly hydrogen and helium) that escaped from the inner part of the solar system. After that, Jupiter began to absorb a lot of material (mainly hydrogen and helium) that had escaped from the inner part of the solar system and grew rapidly into a huge planet.

Of course, Jupiter could not absorb all the material that escaped from the inner solar system, so Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, which are located on the outer side of Jupiter, also got a share of the material to varying degrees, although they did not absorb as much as Jupiter, but enough to grow into giant planets much larger than Earth.

Well, that's all for today, welcome to follow us and we'll see you next time.


About the Creator

Fei Fei

Fantasy is the poet's wings, hypothesis is the ladder of science。

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