what is inside a "gas giant"???

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posted on Mar, 29 2004 @ 07:53 AM
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Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are known as gas giants. This is because they are basically gigantic gas balls compared to Earth and the other three rocky inner planets, or to the icy planet Pluto and its ice moon Charon (which are also classed as large Edgeworth-Kuiper (E-K) Belt objects). The four giant planets are comprised mostly of an outer layer of molecular hydrogen and helium and a much thicker layer of metallic hydrogen. However, each may have a small solid core as large as several Earth masses at their center. Sometimes they are called "Jovians" because Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are considered to be very similar to Jupiter ("Jove" is variation of Jupiter in Latin).

www.solstation.com...

The term 'gas giant' is actually somewhat of a misnomer. For example, Jupiter has a thick atmosphere composed of mostly hydrogen gas and helium, with trace amounts of other chemicals such as ammonia. However, the majority of the planet's mass is liquid hydrogen, possibly with a rocky or nickel-iron core. The composition of the other gas giants is similar, though Uranus and Neptune have more water, ammonia, and methane. The lower layers of liquid hydrogen inside gas giants is often so highly compressed that it becomes metallic in nature; metallic hydrogen is stable only under such enormous pressures

en.wikipedia.org...




posted on Mar, 29 2004 @ 08:15 AM
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Originally posted by quiksilver
Yea it takes what? 1000 years for the radiation to get through that part. Its what holds stops the sun from collapsing in a way.

Fact: The sun could fit inside Jupiter's magnetosphere. It's BIG.


yeah, something like that long. i'm actually not sure offhand, but that does seem right. and jupiter's magnetosphere may be large, yeah, but the sun is still 100 times larger than jupiter.



posted on Mar, 31 2004 @ 07:59 AM
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Currently we wouldn't be able to send a probe to Jupiter that would make it farther then a mile into the atmosphere before being crushed into nothing.


The Galileo atmosphere went a lot deeper than 1 mile and survived

'the probe sliced into Jupiter's atmosphere at one-hundred-six-thousand miles per hour. It slowed, released its parachute, and dropped its heat shield. As the probe descended through ninety-five miles of the top layers of the atmosphere, it collected fifty-eight minutes of data on the local weather. The data were sent to the spacecraft overhead, then transmitted back to Earth.

It appeared that Jupiter's atmosphere is drier than we thought. Measurements from the probe showed few clouds, and lightning only in the distance. It was only later that we discovered that the probe had entered an area called a "hot spot."

Towards the end of the 58 minute descent, the probe measured winds of four-hundred-and-fifty miles per hour - stronger than anything on Earth. The probe was finally melted and vaporized by the intense heat of the atmosphere. '

galileo.jpl.nasa.gov...

As regards the core I quite like the theory described in Arthur C Clarke 2061 (although I think in Jupiter case it is not correct), that the heaviest element in any quantity (therefore the one that sinks to the core) is carbon and that the core is a giant diamond. Other people hypothesis that Jupiter has an small quantity of radioactive material and that the core is eefective a nuclear reactor (they argue that energy levels exhibited by Jupiter mean that there ahas to be another power source other than the sun powering the jovian system and that this is the most likely explanation. (search www.spacedaily.com and you should find the article)


[Edited on 31-3-2004 by Popeye]

[Edited on 31-3-2004 by Popeye]



posted on Mar, 31 2004 @ 01:02 PM
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Originally posted by Popeye
Other people hypothesis that Jupiter has an small quantity of radioactive material and that the core is eefective a nuclear reactor (they argue that energy levels exhibited by Jupiter mean that there ahas to be another power source other than the sun powering the jovian system and that this is the most likely explanation.


all the gas giant planets give off more energy than they take in from the sun. i don't think there's anything radioactive, i just think that all the pressure of the atmosphere is causing the heat. also, in mine and many others' opinion, it has a highly dense nickel or iron core., not a diamond.





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