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Lecture 18

Lecture 18 - Jovian Planets and their Moons and Rings - November 19.docx

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Astronomy & Astrophysics
Michael Reid

November 19, 2013. Lecture 18 – Jovian Planets: Moons and Rings Jovian Planets • Jupiter largest o Ten times the size of Earth • Saturn is second • Uranus and Neptune are 3 and 4 th o About 4 times the size of Earth • Gas giants are massive o Strong gravitational pull; therefore high escape speeds o So massive they can hold onto light elements like Hydrogen and Helium • Tiny solid cores buried under thick layers of gas and liquid • High masses • Spin quickly • All have rings • Dozens of moons • Jupiter o Composed of a layer of:  Visible clouds  Gaseous hydrogen  Liquid hydrogen  Metallic hydrogen (that is liquid)  Core of rock, metals, and hydrogen compounds o Same for Saturn o Uranus and Neptune are not large enough to crush and compact hydrogen into solid material/metallic liquid? o “Gas giant” kind of an incorrect term since only about 10% of Jupiter’s radius is actually strictly gas o The Juno spacecraft left Earth in 2011, and will arrive at Jupiter in 2016  Will be sending back awesome pictures of Jupiter and its moons  First solar powered probe • Saturn o Cassini is a probe that has been hanging around Saturn taking awesome pictures  Like the North Pole hexagon of Saturn, literally a hexagonally shaped cloud formation/pattern that is HUGE  “The Rose” is the middle of the hexagon, it’s a MASSIVE hurricane • The Rose rotates in two diffe
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