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Lecture 9

ASTR 3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Giant Planet, Metallic Hydrogen

Astronomy and Astrophysics
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Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Astronomy Notes (also notes from the 12th)
Chapter 11: Giant Planets and their Satellites
-Jovian Planet composition
jupiter and saturn are mostly hydrogen and helium gas, compressed to high density
uranus and neptune are mostly hydrogen compounds (water, methane, ammonia),
they have some hydrogen and rock
uranus and neptune are denser than saturn because they have less h/he
-Size of Jovian Planets
adding mass to a jovian planet compresses the underlying gas layers
greater compression is why Jupiter is not much larger than Saturn even though it is
three times more massive
Jovian planets with even more mass can be smaller than Jupiter
Rotation and Shape of Jovian Planets
-jovian planets are not quite spherical because of their rapid rotation
-this is very helpful because we can probe their gravity field to understand density
vs radius
-we can tell that both planets have a dense core
Interiors of Jovian Planets
-no solid surface
-layers under high pressure and temperatures
-cores made of hydrogen compounds, metals and rock
-the layers are different for the different planets
Jupiter: high pressures inside jupiter cause phase of hydrogen to change with
depth, hydrogen acts like a metal at great depths because its electrons move
freely, core is thought to be made of rock, metals, and hydrogen compounds.
-models suggest cores of jovian planets have similar composition
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