APR 23, 2019 08:59 AM PDT

Should Jupiter Be Considered a 'Failed Star?'

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
DEC 05, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 05, 2019
The 'Fulton Gap' Could Explain an Ongoing Question Regarding Planet Formation
When looking at the bulk of distant exoplanets discovered by astronomers over the years, one thing seems obvious: most of those are either smaller to or eq...
DEC 05, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 05, 2019
LightSail-2 Spacecraft Demonstrates Viability of Solar Sails
The future of space travel looks bright, especially considering the fact that future deep-space probes could utilize passive solar sails to get to their de...
DEC 05, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 05, 2019
What NASA's TESS Mission Has Accomplished Thus Far
Astronomers are particularly interested in finding an exoplanet like the Earth, and with the help of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, al...
DEC 05, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 05, 2019
How the Rosetta Mission Augmented Our Understanding of Comets
The European Space Agency (ESA) launched its Rosetta mission in 2004 to study the particularly captivating comet 67P, and after a ten-year journey, the mis...
DEC 05, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 05, 2019
Did You Miss the Mercury Transit? Here's NASA's Footage
Monday was a particularly exciting day for amateur astronomers. It was the day that the planet Mercury performed a visible transit across the Sun’s s...
DEC 05, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 05, 2019
The Air Force's X-37B Plane Spent 780 Days in Space, But Why?
The United States Air Force regularly conducts top-secret missions and science experiments on behalf of the federal government. One of the military branch&...
Loading Comments...