About 5 billion years ago, as the Sun forms, most planets around it are still dust. But Jupiter's core already begins to grow.
Jupiter, the first planet to form in our solar system
Published: August 6, 2019
Narrator: Nearly five billion years ago a distant exploding star sends a shockwave across the galaxy, causing the cloud of gas and dust that would become our solar system to collapse, forming the Sun. Farther out, Jupiter’s core is already beginning to grow, gathering in vast clouds of gas. After 50 million years, the Sun’s nuclear furnace ignites, the light of its first dawn revealing Jupiter. While the terrestrial worlds are little more than rubble, Jupiter is fully formed, allowing it to shape everything that follows.
Konstantin Batygin: So when it comes to setting the stage, setting the structure of how the solar system is going to evolve Jupiter plays the biggest role. It is the most influential planet of our cosmic home.
Created by Lola Post Production/© BBC Studios
Digital Production: Rachel Swansburg and Sukee Bennett
© WGBH Educational Foundation 2019