Age of Jupiter inferred from the distinct genetics and formation times of meteorites [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]
The age of Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System, is still unknown. Gas-giant planet formation likely involved the growth of large solid cores, followed by the accumulation of gas onto these cores. Thus, the gas-giant cores must have formed before dissipation of the solar nebula, which likely occurred within less than 10 My after Solar System formation. Although such rapid accretion of the gas-giant cores has successfully been modeled, until now it has not been possible to date their formation. Here, using molybdenum and tungsten isotope measurements on iron meteorites, we demonstrate that meteorites derive from two genetically distinct nebular reservoirs that coexisted and remained spatially separated between ∼1 My and ∼3–4 My after Solar System formation. The most plausible mechanism for this efficient separation is the formation of Jupiter, opening a gap in the disk and preventing the exchange of material between the two reservoirs. As such, our results indicate that Jupiter’s core grew to ∼20 Earth masses within <1 My, followed by a more protracted growth to ∼50 Earth masses until at least ∼3–4 My after Solar System formation. Thus, Jupiter is the oldest planet of the Solar System, and its solid core formed well before the solar nebula gas dissipated, consistent with the core accretion model for giant planet formation.
Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.
Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.