Jupiter Is a Jerk

The biggest bully in the solar system has been wreaking havoc since the day it was born.

About 4.6 billion years ago, when our sun finally accumulated enough gas and pressure to ignite the nuclear fusion at its core and become a star, things were just coming together in the solar system. The remaining dust and debris swirling around the newborn sun hadn’t had the chance to coalesce into individual planets yet.

Which planets formed first from this massive disk is still a matter of debate. What we do know is that roughly 100 million years after the sun’s first light, one planet was the hungriest, voraciously ingesting any material that happened to pass too close.

That planet, of course, is Jupiter.

Today, Jupiter has about 2.5 times as much mass as all the other planets combined. The engorged planet consumed about 1.9 octillion kilograms (1.898 x 10^27 kg) of gas and debris as it swept through the infant solar system. Its massive gravitational influence shaped how the rest of the solar system came together and guided the evolution of our little neighborhood in space. Without this big planetary bully, things could have looked a lot different.

Do read all this, very damn interesting to say the least, HERE

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