Scientists have discovered That Jupiter’s innards are filled with the remains of newborn planets that the gas giant swallowed as it broadened to become the behemoth we see today. The outcomes arising from the first clear view of the chemistry under the planet’s cloudy outer atmosphere.
Despite being the giant planet in the solar system, Jupiter has disclosed very little about its internal workings. Telescopes have caught thousands of pictures of the swirling vortex clouds in the gas giant’s upper atmosphere. However, these Van Gogh-Esque storms also behave as a barrier obstructing our view of what’s underneath.
“Jupiter was one of the first planets to form” in the early few million years when the solar system was taking its form around 4.5 billion years ago, lead researcher Yamila Miguel, an astrophysicist at Leiden University in The Netherlands, said to Live Science. Nonetheless, we know almost nothing for sure about how it was created, she added.
In the recent study, researchers could finally peer past Jupiter’s obscuring cloud cover utilizing gravitational data obtained by NASA’s Juno space probe. This data facilitated the team to map out the rocky substance at the core of the giant planet, which disclosed a surprisingly high amount of heavy elements. The chemical build-up implies that Jupiter devoured baby planets, or planetesimals, to reach its expansive growth.