Chapter 11 ASTRO.docx

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Astronomy & Astrophysics
Michael Reid

Chapter 11 JOVIAN PLANET SYSTEMS 111All 4 Jovian planets share the properties of immense size and a low density composition of hydrogen helium and hydrogen compounds Jupiter and Saturn are made almost entirely of hydrogen and helium with only a few percent of their masses in the form of hydrogen compounds and even less in the form of rock and metal Composition similar to sun rather than terrestrial planetsUranus and Neptune are made primarily of hydrogen compounds such as water methane and ammonia and with smaller amounts of metal and rockJovian planets formed in the outer solar system where it was cold enough for hydrogen compounds to condense into ices Some the ice rich planetesimals grew to great size due to the abundance of hydrogen compoundsNeptunes high density is due to the icy rich planetesimals it formed from Astronauts use the movement of clouds to determine the rotational period of a Jovian planetwe can also calculate the orbital period by tracking emissions from charged particles trapped in the magnetospheres of Jovian planetsSaturn is about 10 larger in diameter at its equator than from pole to poleThe equatorial bulge exerts an extra gravitational pull that helps keep moons and rings aligned with the EquatorThe temperature and pressure increases as you move further into Jupiters atmosphereAll except the core of Jupiter is made up of mainly hydrogen and heliumAll 4 Jovian planets cores are quite similar in composition and massPressures within Uranus and Neptune are not high enough to form liquid or metallic hydrogen Their layer consists of gaseous hydrogen some maybe liquid buried deep inside surrounding its cores Jovian planets have NO GEOLOGYInternal heat of Jovian planets is important for atmospheric processesJupiter gradually loses heat in the process of thermal radiation emits 2x as much energy as it receives from the SunJupiters excess heat is due to the slow contraction of the planet Contraction coverts gravitational potential energy to thermal energy Therefore continued contraction would be the ongoing source of internal heatSaturn and Neptune also emits 2x as much energy as it receives from the Sun
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