SUMMARY: The cores of every 4 jovian planets are made of some mix of rock, metal and hydrogen compounds. The difference between the jovian interiors remains in the layers that surround the core.

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

Have you ever wondered why Jupiter and also Saturn are an extremely close in size, yet Jupiter"s average density is almost twice Saturn"s? The prize lies in exactly how you construct a planet out of hydrogen and also helium. The process is similar to stacking pillows one on top of another. As more pillows room stacked ~ above top, the pillows ~ above the bottom become more and much more compressed. The bottom pillows proceed to compress till a point when including pillows doesn"t boost the height of the stack.


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Planet Radius vs. Mass(click to enlarge)

This helps describe why the radii the Jupiter and Saturn are really close, but Jupiter is more than 3 times together massive. Jupiter continued to collection hydrogen and also helium in that is atmosphere, boosting its mass and also compressing its internal until that is average thickness was double Saturn"s.

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

Notice that even though Neptune and also Uranus are smaller in size, your densities space much larger than Saturn"s. This leads united state to believe that Uranus and Neptune must have considerably different compositions than that the Saturn, v a much larger portion of higher-density product such together hydrogen compounds and also rock.


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All 4 jovian planet cores are comparable in composition. Each is composed of a mixture that rock, metal and hydrogen compounds. Their distinctions stem from having captured different quantities of additional hydrogen and helium gas from the solar nebula. Jupiter caught so much that it finished up with 300 times Earth"s mass.


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Jovial world Interiors(click to enlarge)
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A Pie slice of Jupiter"s Density
LAYERS surrounding JOVIAN CORES (FROM core OUTWARD):Jupiter and also SaturnMetallic hydrogenLiquid hydrogenGaseous hydrogenVisible cloudsUranus and also NeptuneGaseous hydrogenVisible cloudsDensity, temperature and also pressure increase with street from the cloud tops.

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The jovian planets gain their heat from the Sun and from your interiors. Jupiter create a lot of internal heat and releases this warm by emitting thermal radiation. In fact, Jupiter create so much internal heat that that emits virtually twice together much energy as the receives from the Sun. The only reasonable explanation is the Jupiter is still slowly contracting, almost as though it has actually not quite finished forming.

Saturn and Neptune also appear to be emitting much more energy 보다 they obtain from the Sun. While us are particular Saturn is not quiet contracting, it seems clear the Neptune is still contracting. Uranus is the just jovian world not emitting excess interior energy.