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

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

Have you ever wondered why Jupiter and also Saturn are an extremely close in size, yet Jupiter"s average thickness is almost twice Saturn"s? The price lies in just how you develop a earth out of hydrogen and also helium. The process is comparable to stacking pillows one on height of another. As much more pillows room stacked top top top, the pillows ~ above the bottom end up being more and more compressed. The bottom pillows continue to compress till a allude when including pillows doesn"t rise the height of the stack.


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Planet Radius vs. Mass(click come enlarge)

This helps explain why the radii the Jupiter and also Saturn are really close, but Jupiter is more than three times together massive. Jupiter ongoing to collect hydrogen and helium in the atmosphere, boosting its mass and also compressing its interior until the average thickness was double Saturn"s.

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

Notice that also though Neptune and also Uranus are smaller sized in size, their densities space much larger than Saturn"s. This leads us to believe that Uranus and Neptune should have substantially different compositions than that the Saturn, through a much larger fraction of higher-density material such as hydrogen compounds and also rock.


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All four jovian earth cores are similar in composition. Each is composed of a mixture the rock, metal and also hydrogen compounds. Their differences stem indigenous having caught different quantities of additional hydrogen and helium gas indigenous the solar nebula. Jupiter caught so much that it ended up through 300 time Earth"s mass.


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Jovial planet Interiors(click come enlarge)
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A Pie slice of Jupiter"s Density
LAYERS surrounding JOVIAN CORES (FROM main point OUTWARD):Jupiter and SaturnMetallic hydrogenLiquid hydrogenGaseous hydrogenVisible cloudsUranus and NeptuneGaseous hydrogenVisible cloudsDensity, temperature and also pressure boost with distance from the cloud tops.

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The jovian planets obtain their warm from the Sun and from your interiors. Jupiter create a many of interior heat and releases this heat by emitting heat radiation. In fact, Jupiter create so much internal warm that it emits almost twice as much power as that receives from the Sun. The only reasonable explanation is the Jupiter is still slowly contracting, practically as despite it has not fairly finished forming.

Saturn and Neptune additionally appear to it is in emitting an ext energy than they obtain from the Sun. While we are specific Saturn is not quiet contracting, it seems clear that Neptune is quiet contracting. Uranus is the only jovian world not create excess interior energy.