Researchers say they have uncovered some mysterious secrets about Jupiter’s origin and how it migrated toward the middle of our solar system. Led by researchers from Lund University, the team started with a widely-held theory about gas giants. The theory suggests the gas planets form far away from their host star and migrate over time to orbit closer to the star. The researchers wanted to determine why that appears to happen.
They published the results of their study in arXiV. They focused on the early days of the solar system, which they believe to be approximately 4.5 billion years ago. At that time, Jupiter was just formed, and they believe it wasn’t much larger than Earth at the time.
“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. We found evidence of the migration in the Trojan asteroids orbiting close to Jupiter,” lead author and Lund University doctoral student Simona Pirani said in a statement.
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