New models of this solar system show that Jupiter’s early migration toward the sun could have destroyed the first generation of inner planets which ultimately resulted in the creation of a younger set including Venus, Mercury, Earth, and Mars.
The current solar system is likely configured differently than the way it was originally formed, a version which did not include Earth.
According to a new study, it is believed that Jupiter began to migrate toward the sun, and its gravitational forces set off a series of planetary collisions and chain reactions that destroyed existing planets in its path.
Scientists began investigating this period in an effort to understand why our solar system is configured differently from others where planets orbit in much tighter formation and closer to their host star.
Years ago, the Grand Tack theory was proposed where Jupiter is thought to have been pulled toward the sun along with Saturn until their gravitational forces sent them on a reverse tack back out their current places.
New models hypothesize that the huge planet’s movement led to the mass destruction of early inner planets, the fragments of which were likely destroyed by the sun.
From there, a group of planets–Venus, Mercury, Earth, and Mars–formed in the blank space in a second generation which could explain their relative youth compared to the outer planets.
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