Popular Science

Jupiter may be even older than we thought

This gas giant has seen it all.
Jupiter from the Hubble Space Telescope

Looking pretty good for its age.

Amy A. Simon/NASA/European Space Agency

Scientists are now closer to knowing Jupiter’s birthday. A new study from researchers at the University of Münster and Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California suggests that Jupiter may have begun forming within one million years of the very first inklings of the solar system. That may seem like a long delay, but in the context of the 4.5 billion year history of the solar system, it makes Jupiter quite the senior citizen.

Previous studies suggested that Jupiter was one of our older neighbors, but they provided a generous estimate that it formed within 10 million years

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