Kit Steinkellner
November 05, 2015 3:18 pm

We knew the planet Jupiter was a bad bish. After all, girl is the largest planet in the Solar System. And when we say “large,” we’re talking about two and a half times the size of all the other planets in the Solar System COMBINED. Probably why the Romans named Jupiter after their number one dude god.

So we just found out that Jupiter is even badder than we previously thought (and by “badder” we obviously mean “awesomer.”) Here’s the deal: in 2011 scientists proposed that at the time of the Solar System’s formation, there was actually another gas planet in the mix, along with Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. But whatever happened to this plane? As Science Daily reports, astrophysicists at the University of Toronto just put forth the theory that it was, in fact, Jupiter who pushed this planet out of our Solar System.

Yes, planetary ejection is a thing, it’s what happens when there’s a close planetary encounter and one of the objects accelerates so much it busts out of the Sun’s gravitational pull. And it looks like that’s exactly what happened to the lost-but-never-forgotten planet in question, and it’s basically all Jupiter’s fault.

“Ultimately, we found that Jupiter is capable of ejecting the fifth giant planet while retaining a moon with the orbit of Callisto,” Ryan Cloutier, a PhD candidate in U of T’s Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics and lead author of a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, told Science Daily after conducting the necessary computer simulations.”On the other hand, it would have been very difficult for Saturn to do so because Iapetus would have been excessively unsettled, resulting in an orbit that is difficult to reconcile with its current trajectory.”

So, lesson learned, nobody mess with Jupiter. That lady does not f— around.


(Image via Shutterstock)