How Jupiter Robbed Mars of Mass
ScienceDaily: Latest Science News Download time: Jun 6 2011 8:46 AM ET
Planetary scientists have long wondered why Mars is only about half the size and one-tenth the mass of Earth. As next-door neighbors in the inner solar system, probably formed about the same time, why isn't Mars more like Earth and Venus in size and mass? A paper published in the journal Nature provides the first cohesive explanation and, by doing so, reveals an unexpected twist in the early lives of Jupiter and Saturn as well.
cientist at Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), led an international team performing simulations of the early solar system, demonstrating how an infant Jupiter may have migrated to within 1.5 astronomical units (AU, the distance from the Sun to Earth) of the Sun, stripping a lot of material from the region and essentially starving Mars of formation materials.…