The Solar System

Gas Giants

How was Jupiter formed?

Jupiter is the archetypal gas giant planet—so much so that gas giants are often called Jovian planets. Thus, Jupiter is thought to have formed pretty much the same way that all other gas giants form. Although many details remain uncertain, scientists think that Jupiter formed soon after the Sun itself. As the solar nebula settled into a swirling disk of dust and gas, small particles came together over millions of years’ time and eventually formed planetesimals, which in turn came together to form the core of Jupiter. The planet’s core then attracted the gas in and around its orbital path, which gathered and coalesced into Jupiter’s massive atmosphere.


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