Jupiter As A Planet Factory
Alternative Theory of Origins
An aspect of Velikovsky's Theories
that caused no end of acrimony from the Establishment orthodoxy was the proposal
that Venus was not only a young planet but originated by fission from Jupiter's
core. I used the idea as the basis for Cradle
In 1969, the British astronomer W.H. McCrea published a paper
in Nature, "Density of the Terrestrial Planets," Vol. 224,
pp. 28-29, contending that the inner planets could never have formed in the
way that the standard textbook accretion or tidal models describe, owing to
the disruptive effect of Jupiter. This came after R.A. Lyttleton's Manís
View of the Universe, 1961, which included a fluid dynamic analysis of Jupiter's
core, showing that with its accretion rate and rotation speed it would periodically
go unstable and shed excess mass. To my knowledge, neither of these hypotheses
have been refuted.
Now, Rob Racansky has sent me the following from http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_555000/555473.stm:
Wednesday, 8 December, 1999, 21:48 GMT
Jupiter gave birth to Uranus and Neptune
By BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse
New suggestions that the planets in our Solar System have
not always been in their current orbits have been put forward by two teams of
This work, along with recent speculation that Jupiter may
have formed much further from the Sun than its current position, and the discovery
of other planetary systems orbiting other stars, is forcing a reappraisal of
our understanding of how the planets were formed.
Writing in the journal Nature, researchers from Queen's
University in Kingston, Canada, propose that all of the giant planets in our
Solar System formed in a narrow region of the gas and dust cloud that surrounded
the early Sun. They suggest that they ended up in their present orbits as a
result of violent and chaotic scattering.
This would mean that when Jupiter, our Solar System's largest
planet, formed, it triggered the birth of other giant planets nearby. In a way,
Jupiter was the "midwife" of the Solar System.
The four major planets in our Solar System are classified
into two "gas giants" (Jupiter and Saturn), that have a small rocky
core surrounded by a large hydrogen and helium atmosphere and also two "ice
giants" (Uranus and Neptune), that have icy mantles around their cores
and only a thin atmosphere.
Scientists have always been slightly puzzled by the positions
of Uranus and Neptune because in their present locations it would have taken
longer than the age of the Solar System for them to form.
The scientists from Queen's University suggest that the
four giant planets started out as rocky cores in the Jupiter-Saturn region,
and that the cores of Uranus and Neptune were tossed out by Jupiter's and Saturn's
In the simulations, the ejected planets went into highly
chaotic orbits for a few hundred thousand years after which they settled down
and gradually migrated to their present, nearly circular orbits.
Another group of scientists, also writing in Nature, from
the University of Toronto, have simulated how planets such as Jupiter may have
formed in the first place.
They found that gas and dust circling the early Sun that
starts to accumulate to form a proto-Jupiter creates a spiral density pattern
in the surrounding disk material. The proto-planet accretes mass rapidly through
the spiral arms but when the planetary mass reaches four-to-five-times Jupiter's
mass, the disk rapidly fragments into smaller proto-planets.
Over hundreds of thousands, or millions of years the proto-Uranus
and proto-Neptune would be flung outwards by the now smaller proto-Jupiter's
Not too long ago, scientists regarded the orbits that the
planets circle our Sun as being the ones they were born in. Now they are realizing
that this is not the case. Uranus and Neptune may have migrated outwards and
Jupiter may have come in from the outer cold.
One of the questions scientists would like to answer is
whether the Earth has always been where it is now?
Another example of revolutionary ideas that Velikovsky proposed fifty years
ago being quietly wheeled into the domain of "respectable" science
through the back door. But any credit or recognition to one of the truly original
thinkers of this century? Not a word of it.