1. The formation of Jupiter's diluted core by a giant impact  Nature.com
  2. Jupiter's weird core may have resulted from an early collision  Science News
  3. Young Jupiter was smacked head-on by massive newborn planet  Phys.org
  4. Cataclysmic collision could explain Jupiter's fuzzy core  Science Magazine
  5. A massive collision may have made Jupiter’s core so weird  New Scientist News
  6. View full coverage on Google News
The Juno mission1 has provided an accurate determination of Jupiter’s gravitational field2, which has been used to obtain information about the planet’s composition and internal structure. Several models of Jupiter’s structure that fit the probe’s data suggest that the planet has a diluted core, with a total heavy-element mass ranging from ten to a few tens of Earth masses (about 5 to 15 per cent of the Jovian mass), and that  heavy elements (elements other than hydrogen and helium) are distributed within a region extending to nearly half of Jupiter’s radius3,4. Planet-formation models indicate that most heavy elements are accreted during the early stages of a planet's formation to create a relatively compact core5–7 and that almost no solids are accreted during subsequent runaway gas accretion8–10. Jupiter’s diluted core, combined with its possible high heavy-element enrichment, thus challenges standard planet-formation theory. A possible explanation is erosion of the initially compact heavy-element core, but the efficiency of such erosion is uncertain and depends on both the immiscibility of heavy materials in metallic hydrogen and on convective mixing as the planet evolves11,12. Another mechanism that can explain this structure is planetesimal enrichment and vaporization13–15 during the formation process, although relevant models typically cannot produce an extended diluted core. Here we show that a sufficiently energetic head-on collision (giant impact) between a large planetary embryo and the proto-Jupiter could have shattered its primordial compact core and mixed the heavy elements with the inner envelope. Models of such a scenario lead to an internal structure that is consistent with a diluted core, persisting over billions of years. We suggest that collisions were common in the young Solar system and that a similar event may have also occurred for Saturn, contributing to the structural differences between Jupiter and Saturn16–18.An energetic head-on collision between a large impactor and the proto-Jupiter with a primordial compact core could have mixed the heavy elements within the deep interior, leading to a ‘diluted’ core for Jupiter.

The formation of Jupiter’s diluted core by a giant impact | Nature

A colossal, head-on collision between Jupiter and a still-forming planet in the early solar system, about 4.5 billion years ago, could explain surprising readings from NASA's Juno spacecraft, according ...

Young Jupiter was smacked head-on by massive newborn planet

An ancient impact could explain the weird core of the gas giant.An ancient impact could explain the weird core of the gas giant.

Jupiter may have been forever changed by a head-on collision with a 'planetary embryo' - CNET

A giant collision could have formed Jupiter's dilute core. A massive planetary embryo may have hit Jupiter 4.5 billion years ago.

Strange Core of Jupiter May Have Been Forged by a Colossal Head-On Crash | Space

First recorded evidence of circumstellar disk surrounding alien planet revealedFirst recorded evidence of circumstellar disk surrounding alien planet revealed

Jupiter-like planet shows signs of moon formation | Science | AAAS

A planetary body smashing into Jupiter may have jostled the gas giant’s insides during its formative years, creating the strange interior seen today.A planetary body smashing into Jupiter may have jostled the gas giant’s insides during its formative years, creating the strange interior seen today.

Jupiter’s weird core may have resulted from an early collision | Science News

Scientists suggest that Jupiter may have collided with and absorbed a giant protoplanet when the solar system was forming some 4.5 billion years ago.Scientists suggest that Jupiter may have collided with and absorbed a giant protoplanet when the solar system was forming some 4.5 billion years ago.

Jupiter May Have Absorbed a Smaller Planet