A new study has suggested the existence of several “super-Earths” before the formation of today’s planets.
According to the researchers, these super-Earths were destroyed by Jupiter before the formation of planets presently existing in our solar system.
The researchers began the study aiming to find out the answers for “why our solar system is the way it is” and “why the masses of planets vary with many having low masses in comparison to the other solar systems in the galaxy.
Konstantin Batygin, an assistant professor of planetary science at Caltech, said, “The study shows that the inward-outward migration of the biggest planet Jupiter could have destroyed a first generation of planets and have further set the stage for the formation of the mass-depleted terrestrial planets existing in our solar system today.”
The scientists claimed that several solar systems have more planets with large masses and our solar system stands out among them.
The researchers said that the biggest planet Jupiter may have destroyed other smaller counterparts. They explains the planet may have drifted away from the Sun which would have preferably led to the destruction of smaller ones with low mass. According to the researchers, several broken planets could have possibly drifted into the Sun.
The findings of the study were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.