Jupiters formation linked to that of primitive meteorites
Shooting the tube in the solar nebula? This is a side view of a crashing wave of gas using color to represent density. The height of the wave is about half of the Earth-sun distance at its highest point. The gas is thrown upward as it runs into a spiral arm in the nebula, then curls over and crashes back. The black arrows show the direction of gas flow. Just as with ocean waves, as the wave breaks it forms a tube. In this case, the "tube" is nearly 1,000 Earth diameters wide.
The process that formed the giant planet Jupiter may also have spawned some of the tiniest and oldest members of our solar system -- millimeter-sized spheres called chondrules, the major part of the most primitive meteorites. As witnesses to the early history of the solar system, chondrules may provide important clues to how the planets formed.
A report of this research result, by theorists Alan P. Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and Richard H. Durisen of Indiana University in Bloomington, will be published in the March 10 issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Hal Kibbey | EurekAlert!
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