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Jupiter Might Have Eaten Baby Planets To Amass Metals: Scientists

Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, with a mass that is 2.5 times that of all the other planets put together. Most people would remember that the majority of Jupiter is composed of helium and hydrogen.

However, the planet has a significant number of metals, unlike the majority of other gas giants. The source of this metal in Jupiter has finally been identified by scientists as previous terrestrial planets that Jupiter devoured before they could reach their full potential.

Using the Gravity Science instrument on NASA’s Juno probe, scientists set out to determine Jupiter’s composition. Juno, which used radio waves to measure Jupiter’s gravitational field, was named after the same-named Roman Goddess who was married. Juno entered Jupiter’s orbit in 2016.


  • The largest planet in the solar system is Jupiter.
  • A significant amount of Jupiter’s composition is made up of metals, which were discovered nearer Jupiter’s core than in its outer layers.

What more the Scientist Says about Jupiter?


The tools made it possible for scientists to draw the conclusion that the metallic components found in it, a planet whose total mass ranges from 11 to 30 times that of the Earth, were buried deep beneath the planet.

The metals were found near Jupiter’s core as opposed to its outer layers. There are two ways for a gas giant like it to accumulate metals during its formation: through the accretion of small pebbles or larger planetesimals, according to lead author Yamila Miguel of the study titled “Jupiter’s inhomogeneous envelope inhomogeneous envelope,” which was published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

”We know that a newborn’s planet starts to eject stones when it reaches a particular size. The level of metal richness we currently witness inside it was previously unachievable. Therefore, it is impossible for it to have formed from only pebbles. Since they are too big to have been blocked, planetesimals must have been involved.” Planetesimals are solid spacecraft that form from little cosmic dust specks.

Once they grow to a size of around a kilometer, these planetesimals can exploit their gravitational field to expand and transform into protoplanets.

In contrast to predictions based on the pebble isolation mass in its simplest form, Miguel says that his findings “imply that it continued to accrete heavy elements in large quantities while its hydrogen-helium envelope was growing, favoring instead planetesimal-based or more complex hybrid models.”

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