Evidence that Jupiter is the oldest planet in the solar system

June 13, 2017
Jupiter is not only the largest planet in our solar system, but it’s also the oldest, according to new research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

An international group of scientists has found that Jupiter is the oldest planet in our solar system.

By looking at tungsten and molybdenum isotopes on , the team, made up of scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Institut für Planetologie at the University of Münsterin Germany, found that meteorites are made up from two genetically distinct nebular reservoirs that coexisted but remained separated between 1 million and 3-4 million years after the solar system formed.

"The most plausible mechanism for this efficient separation is the formation of Jupiter, opening a gap in the disc (a plane of gas and dust from stars) and preventing the exchange of material between the two reservoirs," said Thomas Kruijer, lead author of the paper appearing in the June 12 online issue of, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Formerly at the University of Münster, Kruijer, is now at LLNL. "Jupiter is the oldest planet of the solar system, and its solid formed well before the solar nebula gas dissipated, consistent with the core accretion model for giant planet formation."

Jupiter is the most massive planet of the solar system and its presence had an immense effect on the dynamics of the solar accretion disk. Knowing the age of Jupiter is key for understanding how the solar system evolved toward its present-day architecture. Although models predict that Jupiter formed relatively early, until now, its formation has never been dated.

"We do not have any samples from Jupiter (in contrast to other bodies like the Earth, Mars, the moon and asteroids)," Kruijer said. "In our study, we use isotope signatures of meteorites (which are derived from asteroids) to infer Jupiter's age."

The team showed through isotope analyses of meteorites that Jupiter's solid core formed within only about 1 million years after the start of the solar system history, making it the oldest planet. Through its rapid formation, Jupiter acted as an effective barrier against inward transport of material across the disk, potentially explaining why our solar system lacks any super-Earths (an extrasolar planet with a mass higher than Earth's).

The team found that Jupiter's core grew to about 20 Earth masses within 1 million years, followed by a more prolonged growth to 50 Earth masses until at least 3-4 million years after the solar system formed.

The earlier theories proposed that gas-giant such as Jupiter and Saturn involved the growth of large solid cores of about 10 to 20 Earth masses, followed by the accumulation of gas onto these cores. So the conclusion was the gas-giant cores must have formed before dissipation of the solar nebula—the gaseous circumstellar disk surrounding the young sun—which likely occurred between 1 million years and 10 million years after the solar system formed.

In the work, the team confirmed the earlier theories but we're able to date Jupiter much more precisely within 1 million years using the isotopic signatures of meteorites.

Although this rapid accretion of the cores has been modeled, it had not been possible to date their formation.

"Our measurements show that the growth of Jupiter can be dated using the distinct genetic heritage and formation times of meteorites," Kruijer said.

Most meteorites derive from small bodies located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Originally these bodies probably formed at a much wider range of heliocentric distances, as suggested by the distinct chemical and isotopic compositions of meteorites and by dynamical models indicating that the gravitational influence of the gas giants led to scattering of small bodies into the asteroid belt.

Explore further: Research offers clues about the timing of Jupiter's formation

More information: Thomas S. Kruijer et al. Age of Jupiter inferred from the distinct genetics and formation times of meteorites, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1704461114

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antialias_physorg
3.3 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2017
two genetically distinct nebular reservoirs
...
"Our measurements show that the growth of Jupiter can be dated using the distinct genetic heritage and formation times of meteorites,"

You can mix and match terminology for emphasis, but 'genetic' seems -to me- a wrong choice of words in this context.
TechnoCreed
5 / 5 (11) Jun 13, 2017
@anti

Genetic vs genetics

The word genetic existed before the science of genetics and is frequently used in french to qualify the ongoing process of a phenomenon from its begining... genetic relates to genesis. You will find an excellent definition of the word genetic at the bottom of this page. https://books.goo...;f=false
dfjohnsonphd
5 / 5 (1) Jun 13, 2017
The premise stands to reason when one considers that most stars are binaries. That would make Jupiter look like a failed star. It might have become a star if sufficient hydrogen was present in the solar nebula in its infancy. It would seem that twin stars would have to form almost simultaneously since the stellar wind from the first to form would lower the probability of another forming (unless they were giants), by blowing the hydrogen needed to form the second away from the accumulating system. Likewise, that the larger "gas" planets would form first is also reasonable considering again that the stellar winds would blow away the hydrogen and helium that constitute their bulk.
Shootist
not rated yet Jun 13, 2017
two genetically distinct nebular reservoirs
...
"Our measurements show that the growth of Jupiter can be dated using the distinct genetic heritage and formation times of meteorites,"

You can mix and match terminology for emphasis, but 'genetic' seems -to me- a wrong choice of words in this context.


Two diffuse masses of different origins, not of the same dust and gas family. Assuming supernovae, different births. genetic works.
Steelwolf
not rated yet Jun 13, 2017
You can get a pair of rings made from what had started as a disc of all nearly the same material mix, however, with the lightoff of the star, you get a light pressure which will strip the inner areas of light elements and their lighter isotopes, pushing them further out into the system, while the heavier materials and isotopes remain. The formation of Jupiter then separated these areas and further kept them from remixing by accreting all that it could in it's orbit. Jupiter likely took up much of the lighter elements from the inner system, but it is still quite enough to show that there are plainly two rings of very different materials, now.

Genetic describes it as it speaks to their beginnings and constituent materials, how it came from a common beginning. Even though the belts have evolved, they can still be tracked by these constituent elements and their various weight segregated isotopic concentration differences between inner and outer ring.
Whydening Gyre
4 / 5 (1) Jun 13, 2017
two genetically distinct nebular reservoirs
...
"Our measurements show that the growth of Jupiter can be dated using the distinct genetic heritage and formation times of meteorites,"

You can mix and match terminology for emphasis, but 'genetic' seems -to me- a wrong choice of words in this context.

Generic seems to have been the "target" word. Between "r" and "t" being right next to eachother on a keyboard and autocorrect not having context derivation capabilities - I can see how that could happen...
Either that or the author had bio on the brain....
TrollBane
5 / 5 (1) Jun 14, 2017
I knew it the moment I heard Jove describe the inner worlds as the 'young whipper snappers'.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2017
Generic seems to have been the "target" word. Between "r" and "t" being right next to eachother on a keyboard and autocorrect not having context derivation capabilities - I can see how that could happen...

I'm buying TechnoCreeds explanation of 'genesis' vs. 'genetics' as the etymological root. I had previously googled around for astronomy papers that use the word genetically/genetic but the only paper I found was the one cited above.
Dingbone
not rated yet Jun 14, 2017
Some planets could be older than the Sun (Pluto, transplutoinian objects). When first star exploded, their existing planets didn't disappear - but they would serve as a condensation nuclei for particles and interstellar gas ejected from original star. There are also indicia, that this progenitor star comes from Magellanic cloud outside the Milky Way.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2017
There are also indicia, that this progenitor star comes from Magellanic cloud outside the Milky Way.

Riiiight. Source? Or are you just pulling a Trum again.
Dingbone
not rated yet Jun 14, 2017
Some people are literally unaffected with scientific information, despite they're spending whole days at PhysOrg 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jun 14, 2017
Lol..did you even read your own links?

Your first link says NOTHING about where our sun originates from. Only the fifth one makes the claim.
The other four links DEBUNK the claim made in the fifth one.

Now you're already saving us the work of debunking your stupid ideas for you.

Well done, genius, well done.

*slow clap*

(I think I'll take you off the ignore list, because you're turning out to be comedy gold)

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