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The Jovian Planets

Powerful Essays
The Jovian Planets

Far beyond Earth in the solar nebula lies an ice belt and beyond that lay the four Jovian planets. They are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Jovian means "Jupiter- like" in which the rest of the jovian planets do coincide with the name. Uranus Neptune and Saturn, all carry the same traits as Jupiter. The jovian planets are large gas giants that contain mainly a thick atmosphere of Hydrogen and helium. These planets do not have solid surfaces, rather they just get denser with depth. They contain high mass and are usually anywhere from 15 to 318 times the mass of earth. They also contain many satellites and the gravity is much stronger than that of earth. The jovian planets inner structure probably consists of a rocky core of metals, water, ammonia and methane. Usually these cores are about the same size as earth possibly a little larger. It is also possible that Uranus and Neptune’s core is a liquid instead of a solid. The Jovian planets also have about the same rotational characteristics and all have rings around them.
Jupiter, the first of the jovian planets, reigns supreme throughout the solar system. Named after the Roman god Jove, the ruler of Olympus; Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and is also the largest planet in the Earth’s solar system. It is 318 times more massive than Earth and is two thirds of the planetary mass in the solar system. Jupiter’s surface, unlike earth, is gaseous and not a solid. It is about 90% hydrogen and 10% helium with traces of methane, ammonia, water and rock. Jupiter’s interior is very similar to the Sun’s interior but with a far lower temperature. However, it is still unknown but Jupiter is believed to have a core of liquid metallic hydrogen. This exotic element can only be achieved at pressure greater than 4 million bars. Jupiter radiates more energy in space than it receives from the sun. The interior of Jupiter is hot and has been estimated to be 20000 degrees Kelvin. The heat is generated by the Kelvin- Hemholtz mechanism, or the gravitational compression of a planet. It gives off about 1.5 to 2 times more energy than the sun. It is speculated that the source of this heat is due to the rapid rotation of the planet and it’s liquid metallic hydrogen core.
Liquid Metallic hydrogen consists mainly of ionized protons and electrons and is the electric...

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... tidal forces, which caused nitro gas volcanoes on it’s surface.
Different from the terrestrial planets, the Jovian planets are basically big balls of gas. The jovian planets seemed to be formed around the same time from the solar nebula. Jupiter and Saturn are the closest in nature to each other with Neptune and Uranus taking on a few of their traits. They all carry the same characteristics in their Classification. The Jovian planets are composed mainly of helium and hydrogen. They have a liquid or small rocky core. They are usually high in mass and low in density. They have many satellites and the gravity is much stronger than Earth’s. They also all share the same banding and zoning winds. With these characteristics defined with each description given it is easy to see how the planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are Jovian or "Jupiter - like".
Bibliographies
Seeds, Michael A., Foundations of Astronomy; copyright 1994, Wadsworth inc.
Considine, Douglas M. ; Van Nostrands Scientific Encyclopedia, volume eight;
Copyright 1995, Van Nostrand Rienholdt, NY
Maran, Stephen P. , The Astronomy and Astrophysics Encyclopedia,
Copyright 1992, Van Nostrand Rienholdt, NY
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