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Interiors of Jupiter and Saturn

Interiors of Jupiter and Saturn - The H:C ratio on both...

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Interiors of Jupiter and Saturn Although the radii are very similar Jupiter is more massive than Saturn - 298M E compared to 76.6M E . We will discuss the reasons for this later; it is largely to do with the properties of
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Hydroge the properties of Hydrogen as one adds Hydrogen to a large planetary body, but there may be a factor to do with the size of the ice/rock core of the planet. What we have here are models, of course, which are our current "best guesses" to fit the dynamical and surface properties measured for the bodies. Spectra from as early as the 1930s have shown methane (CH 4 ) and ammonia (NH 3 ). The "combination bands" seen implied immense amounts of these. Yet both these species are destroyed by ultra-violet light, so the suggestion was made that they are stabilized by equilibration with Hydrogen at high pressures. This was later confirmed. In 1952 Kuiper suggested that the main clouds on Jupiter were made of solid Ammonia, in small crystals.
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Unformatted text preview: The H:C ratio on both Jupiter and Saturn are very close to that of the sun - in the range 1-3 x solar. Yet the N:H ratio on Jupiter is several times lower than solar. This may be due to the NH 3 having condensed out. The N:H ratio on Saturn shows even less N than expected. The Helium abundances - measured from spacecraft flybys by looking at the effect of Hydrogen-Helium collisions on the absorption of long-wavelength infra-red radiation) - gives H/He of 17.2 +/12 for Jupiter and 32+/- 8 for Saturn, compared to 14.4 for the Sun. The Jovian cloud band structure looks at first sight complex and randomt sight complex and random, but this structure is apparently very stable: The same seems to be true of the Saturnian system. The different bands on both planets also seem to rotate to a large extent with different speeds, decoupled from their neighbours:...
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