Jupiter is an exception because it is a little older than all the other planets in the solar system by about 100 million years, as it began to form barely 3 million years after the formation of the sun.
Our solar system is made up of the sun and all the objects that orbit it, including Earth and other planets. Astronomers believe – according to the “Universe Today” website (universetoday) – That our solar system was formed 4.568 billion years ago, that it began as a giant cloud of cold molecular hydrogen gas, and that something happened, such as a nearby supernova explosion, that caused the cloud to collapse and rotate to become an oblate disk.
The sun was formed as a young star in the center of this disc, with dust surrounding it. And these dust particles began to collide with each other, forming small pieces of rock, according to the description of Universe Today.
These pieces formed the asteroids, and then the larger bodies began to form, which will eventually become the planets we know today, namely Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars (the rocky planets), Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune (the gas giants). And it all happened very quickly in astronomical terms, as it took only approximately 100 million years, according to the site’s estimate.
The oldest planet in the solar system
According to the “Little Astronomy” website (Little astronomy), the age of the planets in our solar system is about 4.5 billion years, they were formed around the same time with some slight differences, simply because they formed from the same protoplanetary disk. And due to the convergence of the periods of their formation, it is very difficult to determine the exact age of each planet.
According to scientists, Jupiter is an exception because it is slightly older than all other planets in the solar system, by about 100 million years, as it began to form barely 3 million years after the formation of the sun. And because it was the first to be formed from the planets, it became very large and powerful, much larger than any other planet, with a mass of 318 Earth planets.
This gas giant was formed around the edges of the early solar system, where the sun’s low gravity and large amount of material allowed it to grow to such a large size compared to the rest of the planets of the solar system.
And after Jupiter gained its large size, it began to move inwards, reaching the orbit in which it is today. On its way in, Jupiter disrupted asteroids that were in the process of forming, and the strong influence of Jupiter’s gravity is the reason why the asteroid belt never formed into a planet.
Following Jupiter’s heels, Saturn also began to form and grow. Jupiter and Saturn have acquired a large part of the gas in the outer solar system, and Saturn followed the formation of Neptune and Uranus.
One theory indicates that these giant gas planets consumed a lot of material in the solar system to form them, and then there was little left of them, which is why the inner planets are much smaller and have a rocky composition.
Meanwhile, in the inner solar system, 4 rocky planets appeared. The rocky protoplanet took longer to appear, perhaps closer to 100 million years, because it relied on collisions between rocky bodies. Mars may have reached its current size more quickly than Earth and Venus, but scientists don’t know exactly when that happened.
What is the youngest planet in the solar system?
IFL Science reports (iflscience) that while it makes sense for Jupiter to be the oldest based on formation models, it is not easy to tell which planet is the most recent. But scientists have come to a context that the youngest planet in our solar system may be Earth or Uranus.
The reason why Earth and Uranus are considered younger is due to the fact that both have experienced massive collisions.
Scientists believe that the primitive Earth was subjected to a collision with Thea, a planet the size of Mars, and this collision resulted in the formation of the moon. This happened about 4.5 billion years ago, and the moon took about 200 million years to form. As for the shaking earth as a result of the collision, it took more time to become what it is today, with the formation of oceans and tectonic plates.
As for the planet Uranus, between 3 and 4 billion years ago, it collided with a planet the size of the Earth, spoiling its interior, making it rotate on its side, and giving it the strangest magnetic field.
How do we know the age of the planets?
Scientists know the age of planets thanks to the radioactive decay of elements found on meteorites. And the site “Space” (Space) that scientists were able to use radiometric dating to determine the age of rocks from parts of the solar system such as the moon, Mars and meteorites.
Radiometric dating is a technique developed in the early 20th century, when research showed that isotopes of some radioactive elements decay into others at a predictable rate.
To explain the radiometric dating process, Becky Flowers, a geologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, told Live Science:Live Science), when minerals form from magma or lava, they often contain traces of radioactive material, such as uranium. Over time, these radioactive elements decay, which means they emit radiation and eventually transform it into new, more stable elements that remain trapped inside the metal.