Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Would Jupiter steal matter from our Sun when it reach red giant phase?

  1. Jun 7, 2012 #1
    It is closer to Sun than the distance between Sirius A and B.

    Yes I know that the Sun wound't expand so much to touch Jupiter, however it would be anyway blowing its mass away. Would Jupiter have strong enough gravitation to absorb significant amount of mass?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2012 #2
    I don't think so. The Sun's mass is still gravitationally bound to the Sun, and the Sun will only expand out to a little bit less than the Earth's orbit. So I think the Sun will still keep its mass from the hands of Jupiter. After all, the Sun is over 1000 times more massive.
  4. Jun 13, 2012 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Hmm. I'm not sure if Jupiter would absorb some of the expelled matter, or if the matter would cause erosion of its atmosphere.
  5. Jun 13, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    yeah thats what I was thinking, would the stronger solar wind deplete Jupiters atmosphere ??

  6. Jun 17, 2012 #5
    The Red Giant phase solar wind will be dense, but slow. Jupiter will quite easily capture what it can, but it won't be very much - Jupiter's gravitational "catchment" is only a few Jupiter radii wider than Jupiter, which is a tiny fraction of the Sun-Jupiter distance.

    A tougher question is how much Jupiter will puff up as the Sun really heats up towards the Red Giant Tip - maximum luminosity and radius. The drama is packed into a million years, with Jupiter being hit by about ~2-3 times the insolation Mercury receives. How much will Jupiter heat up? I don't think the erosion will be significant as all the mass-losing Hot-Jupiters never had a chance to cool down like Jupiter has. But a definite answer will need modelling.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook