How many natural satellites does Jupiter have
Why does Jupiter have so many moons?
Bigger is better.
Most moons, especially those of gas giants, are not "formed", only "captured" (in contrast to our moon, the would have can be caught, but has probably been sculpted in a much more exciting way).
Jupiter is the most massive planet in the solar system. It is obvious that it has a larger area of gravitational influence (where its influence outweighs the force due to the other planets and the sun). So it's easy to capture rocky masses.
If you look at the contours in the picture below (ignore the Lagrange points marked on it, I just want the contours).
The circular area around the earth is more or less the area (there is a speed dependency here that I won't go into) in which a lunar-like body can form a reasonably stable orbit. The size of the small "well" increases as the planet moves further away from the sun and also as the planet is more massive.
Jupiter is both quite far from the sun and very massive. This leads to a huge sphere of influence.
The asteroid belt might have something to do with it too, but I doubt it (it's pretty far away). However, if we adopt the "half-baked planet formation" theory for the formation of the belt, Jupiter may have replaced much of the mass that would otherwise have become part of this planet during its formation.
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