Jupiter's nucleus is a bizarre mixture of solid rocks mixed with a diffuse hydrogen gas bubble. And the story of how this happened in this way has long been avoided by explanation.
But now scientists believe they are on to something that suggests the gas giant engulfs another protoplane during a frontal collision about 4.5 billion years ago when our Solar Energy System formed, according to Science News.
The hypothesis could finally explain why the planet's nucleus is so diffuse and fragmented – and it also sheds light in the earliest days of the solar system.
A team of astronomers from Japan, China, Switzerland and the US use data from NASA's Juno Space Probe to investigate the structure and composition of Jupiter, according to research published Wednesday in the journal Nature .
Tested other possible explanations for how Jupiter's inner core became so diffuse, such as the gradual erosion caused by high-speed winds or the possibility that the core contained gas from the beginning.
But the ancient influence found by scientists is not only a plausible explanation, but may also be the one that best fits the observation data.
"Models of such a scenario lead to an internal structure that is consistent with a dilute nucleus and has existed for billions of years," the study team wrote.
If they are right, it means that our Solar System w as a forcible place, colossal protoplanets can collapse into one another and even merge.
"We assume that clashes were common in the young solar system and that such an event could have occurred for Saturn, contributing to the structural differences between Jupiter and Saturn. "
This article was originally published by Futurism. Read the original article.