APR 23, 2019 8:59 AM PDT

Should Jupiter Be Considered a 'Failed Star?'

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Jupiter is the largest-known planet in our solar system, and it’s also teeming with hydrogen gas. Based on its chemical and physical characteristics, you wouldn’t be alone if you’ve wondered whether Jupiter should be considered a ‘failed star,’ even though it isn’t a brown dwarf by any means. With that in mind, is Jupiter a failed star?

The answer to that question varies, depending on your definition of a failed star. While Jupiter certainly isn’t a brown dwarf, it did form out of the same molecular cloud that our Sun did. There was a potential for Jupiter to become a star, but the Sun was greedy during conception, snatching up most of the surrounding gas and starving Jupiter of all the mass that could have made it into a star.

The Sun captured so much of the mass from the molecular cloud that it’s estimated to contain around 99.8% of the solar system’s total mass. Jupiter, on the other hand, contains only 0.1% of the solar system’s total mass. The rest of that mass was ejected out into the solar system, forming the other planets we know today.

Jupiter doesn’t fit the scientific definition of a failed star, but depending on your viewpoint, Jupiter certainly did fail to become a star. Your mind could go wild with possibilities if even one bit of the solar system’s formation occurred differently than it did.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUN 30, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Axion: Could the Curious Particle "Kill Two Birds with One Stone"
JUN 30, 2020
Axion: Could the Curious Particle "Kill Two Birds with One Stone"
Physicists often ponder in an unusual way: they use one unsolved problem as a hypothetic solution to another, hoping to ...
JUL 19, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Did interstellar organic material form water on Earth?
JUL 19, 2020
Did interstellar organic material form water on Earth?
A recent study published in Scientific Reports sheds light on how our planet’s water could have first come to be. ...
JUL 23, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Was There a Magnetic Network of Cosmic Scale?
JUL 23, 2020
Was There a Magnetic Network of Cosmic Scale?
William Gilbert, the British physicist and physician who experimentally verified the magnetic nature of our planet, cont ...
JUL 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Bacteria More Lethal and Antibiotic Resistant in Space
JUL 27, 2020
Bacteria More Lethal and Antibiotic Resistant in Space
Research has shown that bacteria are more lethal and resistant to antibiotics when exposed to microgravity (a lack of gr ...
AUG 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Human Spaceflight Returns to the US with SpaceX's Success
AUG 09, 2020
Human Spaceflight Returns to the US with SpaceX's Success
On August 7, A SpaceX recovery vessel called GO Navigator brought the Crew Dragon capsule back to its home port.
NOV 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Evidence of Supernovae Found in Ancient Tree Rings
NOV 14, 2020
Evidence of Supernovae Found in Ancient Tree Rings
Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have found that the rings in Earth's ancient trees may hold evid ...
Loading Comments...