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Jupiter PNG Transparent Images

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License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC


Submitted by on Feb 18, 2021

Banded, big, large and intelligent, the gas giant Jupiter is the resident planetary of our solar system with a mass that is one-thousandth of that of our Sun – and two and a half times that of all the other planets in our solar system combined. Jupiter is like a star in its composition, and if it had grown about 80 times more massive, its nuclear fusion fires would have lit – and a star would have been born, instead of a planet. Our solar system emerged about 4.56 billion years ago when a relatively small but too dense droplet, embedded in the undulating and swirling folds of a beautiful giant dark, icy molecular cloud, collapsed.

Under the relentless and unforgiving weight of its gravity – giving birth to our Sun and its stellar siblings. But even though our solar system is the home of our planet, our Sun and its family have managed to keep some tantalizing mysteries to themselves – just waiting to be solved. In June 2017, an international team of astronomers announced that it had discovered that Jupiter was an ancient one – the first planetary offspring born from our parent star, the Sun.

By examining the isotopes of tungsten and molybdenum on iron meteorites, the team made up of scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California. The Fur Planetology Institute at the University of Munster, Germany, discovered that meteorites are made up of two genetically distinct nebular reservoirs that coexisted – but which nevertheless remained separated between 1 million and 3 to 4 million years after our solar system began to emerge from its natal nebula.

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The giant, dark molecular cloud from which our Sun and its family emerged is just one of many that haunt our Milky Way Galaxy. These puffy, icy clouds are mostly made up of gas and dust, and they serve as a nurseries for bright new stars. When a small dense blob, which is embedded in the swirls of a molecular cloud, finally experiences a gravitational collapse, most of its materials gather in the center, and nuclear fusion finally ignites its fire – and a new little star is born. The remaining matter surrounds the young protostar, evolving towards what is called a planetary accretion disk. This rotating disk of gas and dust surrounds its newborn star. Long ago, such a disk revolved around our primordial star. The too tiny particles of naturally “sticky” dust floating inside collided with each other and “stuck” together to form more objects and more significant. Finally, a massive population of planetesimals evolved and ended up constituting the central planets.

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