Jumping Jupiter! Scientists find evidence of a mystery fifth giant planet that was ejected from the solar system

The consensus among astronomers is that the solar system has always had four giant planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. But now it’s claimed that it’s much more likely to have been home to a mystery fifth giant planet that got knocked out.

Computer simulations by David Nesvorny at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, show that it is statistically extremely unlikely that the solar system began with four giants.

By his calculations, it only had a 2.5 per cent chance of reaching its current population and orbital layout with four giants, but was 10 times more likely to have developed to its present state if there was a fifth monster body in the mix.

To reach his conclusions Nesvorny ran 6,000 simulations of the solar system’s birth and early development.

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