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Earth is round, but Jupiter may have been flat: scientists reveal a revolutionary discovery. Photo

Oleh TymchenkoNews
Scientists study computer modeling of planets

In a groundbreaking study, scientists have said that large planets such as Jupiter, which formed at a great distance from their host stars, may have once looked like flattened disks rather than the spherical structures they are today. So far, astronomers have discovered thousands of planets outside the solar system. However, it remains unclear how these worlds are formed.

This is reported by Science Alert, Wionews, and the Independent. In a new study, scientists used computer modeling of planets based on the theory that young planets, or protoplanets, form in short periods of time as a result of the collapse of large rotating gas disks orbiting young stars.

The study found that protoplanets are likely to have flattened structures called oblate spheroids, similar to M&M candies.

"We've been studying planet formation for a long time, but it never occurred to us to check the shape of planets as they form in simulations. We have always assumed that they are spherical," study co-author Dimitris Stamatellos said.

Earth is round, but Jupiter may have been flat: scientists reveal a revolutionary discovery. Photo

"We were very surprised to learn that they were oblate spheroids," Dr. Stamatellos said.

Scientists believe that the smaller terrestrial planets, such as Earth, Venus, Mars and Mercury, gradually form as a result of the fusion of pieces of rock that stick together and accumulate until a planet eventually forms.

They hope that future observations of the formation of large planets will be able to confirm how these worlds are formed.

Earth is round, but Jupiter may have been flat: scientists reveal a revolutionary discovery. Photo

Jupiter is the most interesting planet in our solar system to observe. You can see how the colorful stripes and swirls on its surface change even with a small telescope. Scientists are convinced that this phenomenon is the product of a complex atmosphere that is constantly in motion.

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