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Heavy elements reveal the birth of Jupiter

Leiden Observatory and Dutch space research institute (SRON) Astrophysicist Yamila Miguel led the research team that managed to get very close to the formation of Jupiter: they found that the giant planet’s gas envelope was not uniform in structure.

When Mr. Juno’s probe reached Jupiter in 2016, we were able to see its beauty over and over again, along with the famous Great Red Spot, and many other atmospheric formations. In shots of its hurricanes, the planet looks like a mystical Van Gogh painting. However, most of the planet’s atmosphere is hidden by this amazing and extremely thin outer layer. To find out what might be hiding deeper, Juno’s gravity measurements were used to study Astronomy and astrophysics Published in a professional journal.

It was previously believed that Jupiter’s gas container contained its components in a homogeneous and well-mixed form, but researchers have now realized that this is far from reality. Hydrogen and helium make up most of the atmosphere, but heavier elements are also present, which are found in increasing concentrations as they move toward the planet’s core. The results of the researchers’ theoretical model calculations are consistent with Juno’s observations and measurements, indicating that the calculations may be correct. The total amount of heavy items is 11-30 Earth masses in Jupiter’s gas container.

Astronomers refer to the elements heavier than hydrogen and helium as a somewhat misleading term for “metals” by astronomers, but this term has nothing to do with metals in the chemical sense. The two groups can also be separated in such a way that while hydrogen and helium formed after the Big Bang, only heavier elements could be produced by stellar furnaces.

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The order of the heavy elements is an interesting question because it can be used to infer how Jupiter formed. A gas giant like Jupiter can access these elements in two ways: either by swallowing very small clumps of material, or by absorbing larger planetary spores. However, as the planet grows, the small nodules begin to repel each other, so the results showing a heterogeneous distribution suggest that the larger planetary spores were the source of these elements during the formation of Jupiter.

The heterogeneous distribution also reveals that, unlike previous theories, there are no convective currents in the depths of the planet, as they would have perturbed the heavy elements for a long time. The size of the inner core of Jupiter can also be inferred from the calculations: it can be up to 7 land masses.

The discovery also speaks of knowledge of exoplanets: so far it is believed that these planets measure the amount of heavy elements measured in a gaseous planet from all over the planet, but this is also called into question by experts after exploring the secrets of Jupiter.