Planet Interiors . Terrestrial planet interiors are composed of three basic parts: a dense, metallic core , a lower density solid mantle surrounding the core, and a solid outer shell called the crust . Jovian planets have a core and a fluid mantle that merges smoothly into their atmospheres. I have already discussed several observations and techniques you can use to get initial clues of what a planet's interior is like. I will summarize them and then discuss ways to increase the accuracy of those rough initial models. Methods and observations already mentioned are: 1. The planets have flattened spherical shapes from the action of gravity and the centrifugal effect of their rotation. In the Planet Properties table (appears in a new window) the amount of the rotational flattening is the oblateness. The amount of flattening also depends on the fluidity or elasticity of the interior's material. 2.
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