I'd still say no, for the reasons previously mentioned. Stars require a certain amount of mass to spark thermonuclear fusion – in other words, to shine. But Jupiter is still small compared to the sun. This means that if Jupiter was heavier, then it could undergo fusion (the source of energy in the Sun) and radiate its own light. While sizewise, it's about 20% larger than Jupiter, it's mass is about 100 times greater than Jupiter and density about 50 times the Sun's. Jupiter is therefore known as a “failed star”. I study how stars and planets form, which is a big part of the ways that Jupiter both is and isn’t like a star. Jupiter is just a ball of gas - it can't fail, and it cannot succeed at anything! Was it previously a brown dwarf star? That if the cosmic chaos of the early solar system had worked out a little different, and Jupiter had gotten a bit more mass, it might have been able to light the fusion engine and become a star. Could it be a variation of a sub brown dwarf? Jupiter is what it is! by a very large margin. The Sun is so hot that almost all molecules get broken up, so you only have hydrogen and other atoms.). It doesn’t have a solid ground and is made up of the same elements as the Sun. It didn't set out to become a star so it didn't fail at anything. Usually failed stars are called brown dwarfs. But by definition, if a gas giant is massive enough to ‘ignite’ deuterium fusion it is not a gas giant at all, but a brown dwarf. When a star (and its planets) form, the whole cloud collapses. A star needs to be larger than 8% the mass of the Sun for fusion to begin. The same for Jupiter? I think the best way of distinguishing between stars and planets is to ask if they were the central object in one of the big condensing blobs, or formed in the disk around some (much more massive) central object. Jupiter currently appears brighter than any star in the sky. Jupiter is called a failed star because it is the planet in Earth's solar system that is most like a star. The EarthSky team has a blast bringing you daily updates on your cosmos and world. Our sun, a much larger star, is about 1,000 times more massive than Jupiter. However Jupiter has the materials of a star it lacks the mass. Jupiter actually isn’t much smaller than some brown dwarf stars, which are the true failed stars that lacked enough hydrogen to sustain fusion. This is a bit misleading. You wouldn't say Earth is a failed gas giant or a moon a failed planet. That is between 30 centigrade (30 degrees above freezing water, a lovely summers day) and only up to 230C! People who call Jupiter a failed star are usually referring to the fact that Jupiter is rich in hydrogen and helium, like stars, but not massive enough to produce the internal temperatures and pressures that start a fusion reaction. Is Saturn a star? As you said, for full scale fusion and a star to be a ‘star’ the mass is around 84x the mass of Jupiter. It is considered that because it has 2.5 times all the mass if all the other planets were added together. The envelope of gases – atmosphere – surrounding Jupiter is the largest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System. But by definition, if a gas giant is massive enough to ‘ignite’ deuterium fusion it is not a gas giant at all, but a brown dwarf. Jupiter is more than 2 times as massive as all planets combined and still not massive enough to start fusion between helium and hydrogen. Because of these common elements and the fact that Jupiter remained a planet, it is often labeled as a failed star. Those are usually about 13–80x the mass of Jupiter. Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have photographed one of the smallest objects ever seen around a normal star beyond our Sun. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. Still, Jupiter isn’t massive enough to be a star. Jupiter has a mass that is 0.1% that of the Sun's. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. It just isn't massive enough. Stars have to have enough mass to get hot enough inside to spark thermonuclear fusion reactions. We call these “brown dwarfs”. However Jupiter has the materials of a star it lacks the mass. Still, Jupiter isn’t massive enough to be a star. So these objects would look totally identical to Jupiter, but perhaps they really should be regarded as “star-like objects” and not “planet-like objects”. The original question was: I have heard Jupiter referred to as a failed star. An emerging result in astronomy is to realize that you can make those objects in the same way as a star, that have a mass that is maybe even as low as Jupiter’s. You know the drill, find 79 more Jupiters, crash them into Jupiter, and we’d have a second star in the Solar System. When it comes to being a star, its all about mass rather than size. A star needs to be larger than 8% the mass of the Sun for fusion to begin. It makes up almost the entire planet. Scientists say Jupiter needs to be 75 times more massive to become a star. Scientists say Jupiter needs to be 75 times more massive to become a star. Jupiter did not go through this process, the gases on Jupiter are being held by the sun's gravity and posibly a rocky core inside Jupiter. Jupiter is more than 2 times as massive as all planets combined and still not massive enough to start fusion between helium and hydrogen. I'm aware that dual-star compositions are rather common, and reading the wikipedia article about Jupiter, and remembering some discussions with friends in the past, it looks to me that Jupiter was in the way to become a star and somehow failed, maybe it didn't have enough H around or not enough pressure to start it? Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system, but it isn’t massive enough to be a star. So Jupiter is not a (failed star) brown dwarf because it's not massive enough to sustain nuclear fusion. It’s worth noting that this can be a subtle distinction! "Brown dwarfs are the missing link between gas giant planets like Jupiter and small stars like red dwarfs," Ian McLean, an astronomer at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a statement. Is there is a policy to not send probes anywhere that conditions might support life. Jupiter is called a failed star because it is the planet in Earth's solar system that is most like a star. Well I take issue with your wording - “failed” implies a purpose, like Jupiter was trying to be a star, but didn't quite make it. Was Saturn a star? We see many objects floating around out in the Milky Way that are actually quite small, such that they also never ignited fusion. Since that’ll never happen, you sometimes hear people called Jupiter a failed star. Those sorts of reactions produce energy – and that’s what makes stars shine. Well Jupiter is not really a failed star. Is Jupiter a failed star? This corresponds to about 13 times the mass of Jupiter, meaning that Jupiter itself is incapable of ever ‘igniting’. (I’ll note that Jupiter actually looks quite a bit different from stars, but that’s because it’s so cool that a little bit of the hydrogen goes into making molecules like ammonia (NH3), methane (CH4), and even heavier hydrocarbons. Jupiter doesn’t have enough mass to initiate a fusion reaction in its core – the necessary requirement to be accepted into the star club. It has to be a minimum 80 times more massive to even be a low mass star(red dwarf). Amazing Collision in Space! We’re still working out whether to define a “planet” as any object less than some critical mass (which we can at least measure), or to try defining it based on how they form (which is more scientific, but often hard to determine). Based on its chemical and physical characteristics, you wouldn’t be alone if you’ve wondered whether Jupiter should be considered a ‘failed star,’ even though it isn’t a brown dwarf by any means. This is a bit misleading. We love your photos and welcome your news tips. You could fit a thousand Jupiters inside the sun! The hypotheses on the composition of Jupiter are based on a solid nucleus mostly formed by rocks and ice that underlies a mantle of metallic hydrogen. If the Moon was formed out of a giant collision, why is there no ring of debris surrounding Earth? Do single stars tend to rotate in the same direction as the Sun and/or the Galaxy? However, despite its enormous size, Jupiter is not massive enough to turn into a star, which is why the word ‘failed star’ is a misnomer . However, that brings us to the key difference between stars (like the Sun) and planets (like Jupiter). It doesn't make sense that way. You could fit a thousand Jupiters inside the sun! How does the direction of the moonrise change? Jupiter is called a failed star because it is made of the same elements (hydrogen and helium) as is the Sun, but it is not massive enough to have the internal pressure and temperature necessary to cause hydrogen to fuse to helium, the energy … However, despite its enormous size, Jupiter is not massive enough to turn into a star, which is why the word ‘failed star’ is a misnomer . It has been theorized that the gas giant is a failed star, that was not big enough to start the chain reactions that would allow it to fuse hydrogen into helium. We can consider Jupiter to look somewhat like a “failed star” because it actually has a chemical composition that is very similar to the Sun. Jupiter would have to have 80 times more mass than it does now, in order to ignite in its interior and shine as stars do. Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system, but it isn’t massive enough to be a star. Jupiter is often called a ‘failed star’ because, although it is mostly hydrogen like most normal stars, it is not massive enough to commence thermonuclear reactions in its core and thus become a ‘real star’. Stars require a certain amount of mass to spark thermonuclear fusion – in other words, to shine. Jupiter, a Failed Star. eval(ez_write_tag([[970,250],'askanastronomer_org-medrectangle-4','ezslot_2',110,'0','0']));This causes some arguments among astronomers, because we don’t know which term to use for them! However, Jupiter is too light, and its central temperature never got high enough for hydrogen fusion to start. 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