Unit 5 – The Gas Giant Planets - Unit 5 The Gas Giant...

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Unit 5 – The Gas Giant Planets1.0 INTRODUCTIONSometimes known as the Jovian planetsA large, low-density planet composed primarily of hydrogen, helium, methane andammonia in either gaseous or liquid stateAll have atmospheres of mainly hydrogen and some heliumOn Jupiter and Saturn, boundary between atmosphere and body of the planet isgradual from gas to liquid; on Uranus and Neptune there may actually be a sharpbounding surface between gas and liquidAll have very hot cores that are sometimes called rocky but are a mix of heavyelements in a solid stateAll are surrounded by systems of rings and natural satellitesAll rotate rapidly, resulting in strong atmospheric winds that produce cloud bandsthat parallel their equatorsOn Earth, we say hydrogen and helium are gases, water and ammonia are liquids,and that silicate minerals and metals are rocksOutermost atmosphere of gas giants consist of molecular hydrogen and less heliumFor Jupiter and Saturn, state changes from gas to liquid then to metal; pressure onthe interiors of these massive planets is so immense that hydrogen starts to respondto stimuli just like a metal wouldFor Uranus and Neptune, molecular hydrogen and lesser helium of the outeratmosphere gives way to an atmosphere primarily of methane, then further down toa semi-solid mix of water, methane and ammonia2.0 ORIGIN OF THE GAS GIANTSAstronomers figured that all gas giants were either formed within the first 10 millionyears of the development of a star-planet system or they didn’t ever developIdea is that all volatile and liquid elements would be given off by an early star, andwould gather quickly into frozen blobs in the cold outer reaches of the system, wherethey would grow and gravitational attraction would increase rapidly; they’d startpulling greater quantities of volatiles and liquid inThe larger masses would start interfering with the orbits of the smaller masses, andcombined gravitational/rotational interactions would have the effect of flinging thesmaller ones out to the margins of the planetary system, or in toward the central starDuring this period, planets adjusted their orbits to the relatively stable sequence wesee now3.0 COMET IMPACT ON A GAS GIANT3.1 Comet Impact on JupiterBecause of Jupiter’s strong gravity, it probably gets hit by comets more often thanmost planets
Chapter 14 – Jupiter1.0 INTRODUCTIONThree times larger than SaturnOnly 0.001 times the mass of Sun4thbrightest object in the skyDiameter of Jupiter is 11 times bigger than Earth’sSatellites race around it at high speedIo– innermost of the four Galilean satellites; orbit is larger than the orbit or Moonaround Earth; streaks around its orbit in less than two days; most volcanically activebody in the Solar SystemGreat Red Spot– swirling vortex of cloudsLethal radiationVery hot – emits 1.7 times as much energy as it receives from Sun67 satellites orbit the planetEuropa

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Term
Fall
Professor
Flemming,Roberta
Tags
Solar System, Atmosphere, Planet, satellites

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