Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Modeling Jupiter and Saturn's possible origins

Date:
March 5, 2013
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
New theoretical modeling provides clues to how the gas giant planets in our solar system -- Jupiter and Saturn -- might have formed and evolved.

Jupiter and Saturn.
Credit: NASA/GSFC

New theoretical modeling by Carnegie's Alan Boss provides clues to how the gas giant planets in our solar system -- Jupiter and Saturn -- might have formed and evolved.

His work was published recently by the Astrophysical Journal.

New stars are surrounded by rotating gas disks during the early stages of their lives. Gas giant planets are thought to form in the presence of these disks.

Observations of young stars that still have these gas disks demonstrate that sun-like stars undergo periodic outbursts, lasting about 100 years, which transfer mass from the disk onto the young star, increasing its luminosity. It is thought that these short bursts of mass accretion are driven by marginal gravitational instability in the gas disk.

There are competing theories for how gas giant planets form around proto-suns. One proposes that the planets formed from slowly growing ice and rock cores, followed by rapid accretion of gas from the surrounding disk. The other theory proposes that clumps of dense gas form in spiral arms, increasing in mass and density, forming a gas giant planet in a single step.

Boss developed highly detailed, three dimensional models demonstrating that regardless of how gas giant planets form, they should have been able to survive periodic outbursts of mass transfer from the gas disk onto the young star. One model similar to our own Solar System was stable for more than 1,000 years, while another model containing planets similar to our Jupiter and Saturn was stable for more than 3,800 years. The models showed that these planets were able to avoid being forced to migrate inward to be swallowed by the growing proto-sun, or being tossed completely out of the planetary system by close encounters with each other.

"Gas giant planets, once formed, can be hard to destroy," said Boss, "even during the energetic outbursts that young stars experience."

Given that searches for extrasolar gas giant planets have found them to be present around about 20% of sun-like stars, this is a reassuring outcome. It suggests that our improved theoretical understanding of the formation and orbital evolution of gas giants is on the right track.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Modeling Jupiter and Saturn's possible origins." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305174637.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2013, March 5). Modeling Jupiter and Saturn's possible origins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305174637.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Modeling Jupiter and Saturn's possible origins." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305174637.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

NASA (July 18, 2014) Apollo 11 yesterday, Next Giant Leap tomorrow, Science instruments for Europa mission, and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins