SUMMARY: The jovian planets space essentially large balls that gas, each surrounding by many moons and rings.

You are watching: Some of the moons of the jovian planets have significant atmospheres.

Sections:CompositionRotationMoons and also RingsWhy therefore different?AtmospheresInteriorsRelated linksRelated Lessons:Jupiter"s loved one SizeThe good Red clues PinwheelCan Photosynthesis take place at Saturn?Patterns and also FingerprintsUsing Spectral Data To check out Saturn and Titan

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and also Neptune jointly make increase the group known as the jovian planets. The basic structures of the jovian planets space opposite those the the terrestrial planets. Fairly than having actually thin atmospheres roughly relatively huge rocky bodies, the jovian planets have reasonably small, thick cores surrounding by massive layers of gas. Made practically entirely of hydrogen and helium, these planets perform not have solid surfaces.

The Jovian Planets(click come enlarge)
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How Rotation Affects world Shapes(click come enlarge)

Unlike the spherical shapes of terrestrial planets, the jovian planets are all contempt oblong. The jovian planets revolve much faster than any type of of the terrestrial worlds. Heaviness by itself would certainly make a world spherical, yet their rapid rotation flattens the end their spherical shapes by flinging material near the equator outward.

Observations that clouds at different latitudes imply that the jovian planets rotate at various speeds close to their equators than close to their poles.JOVIAN "DAYS"Jupiter : 10 hoursSaturn : 10 hoursUranus : 16-17 hoursNeptune : 16-17 hours

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After size, probably the many noticeable difference in between the jovian and also terrestrial planets involves moons and also rings. The terrestrial planets are nearly isolated worlds, v only earth (1 moon) and also Mars (2 moons) orbited by any type of moons in ~ all. In contrast, many moons and rings orbit each of the jovian planets.

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All 4 jovian planets have rings, although only Saturn"s rings are quickly visible native Earth. Rings room composed the countless little pieces the rock and also ice, each orbiting its earth like a small moon. The ring look flat due to the fact that the particles every orbit in essentially the very same plane. The ring are located closer to the planets than any of your moderately size or big moons, yet the inner edge of the rings is quiet well above the planet"s cloud tops.


Jupiter through its moons Europa (closest in) and Callisto aligned with the planet"s center.(click come enlarge)