SUMMARY: The cores of all 4 jovian planets room made that some mix of rock, metal and hydrogen compounds. The difference between the jovian interiors stays in the layers the surround the core.

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Sections:Planetary Size and DensityInterior StructureInternal HeatRelated linksRelated Lessons:Looking inside Planets

Have you ever wondered why Jupiter and Saturn are an extremely close in size, but Jupiter"s average thickness is practically twice Saturn"s? The prize lies in exactly how you build a earth out of hydrogen and also helium. The process is similar to stacking pillows one on peak of another. As an ext pillows room stacked on top, the pillows top top the bottom end up being more and much more compressed. The bottom pillows continue to compress until a allude when including pillows doesn"t increase the height of the stack.


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Planet Radius vs. Mass(click to enlarge)

This helps explain why the radii that Jupiter and Saturn are very close, but Jupiter is more than three times as massive. Jupiter continued to collection hydrogen and also helium in that is atmosphere, raising its mass and compressing its inner until that average density was double Saturn"s.

Average density (from highest possible to lowest)Neptune 1,638 kg/m3Jupiter 1,326 kg/m3Uranus 1,270 kg/m3Saturn 687 kg/m3

Notice that even though Neptune and Uranus are smaller in size, their densities are much larger than Saturn"s. This leads us to think that Uranus and also Neptune should have substantially different compositions 보다 that of Saturn, with a much larger fraction of higher-density product such together hydrogen compounds and also rock.


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All four jovian planet cores are comparable in composition. Each is composed of a mixture of rock, metal and also hydrogen compounds. Their distinctions stem native having captured different quantities of added hydrogen and also helium gas indigenous the solar nebula. Jupiter recorded so much that it finished up through 300 time Earth"s mass.


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Jovial earth Interiors(click to enlarge)
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A Pie slice of Jupiter"s Density
LAYERS surrounding JOVIAN CORES (FROM core OUTWARD):Jupiter and also SaturnMetallic hydrogenLiquid hydrogenGaseous hydrogenVisible cloudsUranus and NeptuneGaseous hydrogenVisible cloudsDensity, temperature and pressure rise with street from the cloud tops.

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The jovian planets obtain their warmth from the Sun and also from your interiors. Jupiter create a lot of of inner heat and also releases this warmth by emitting heat radiation. In fact, Jupiter creates so lot internal warmth that it emits almost twice as much energy as that receives native the Sun. The only reasonable explanation is that Jupiter is still gradually contracting, nearly as despite it has actually not quite finished forming.

Saturn and also Neptune likewise appear to be emitting more energy than they get from the Sun. While we are certain Saturn is not still contracting, it seems clear the Neptune is tho contracting. Uranus is the just jovian world not create excess interior energy.