Gas planets - are they really all gas?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MickeS, Jan 30, 2002.

  1. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Whenever I read about the "gas planets" like Jupiter or some of the huge ones they have discovered in other solar systems, I always wonder if they are all gas. Are they?

    I mean, could nothing land on them? Is it gas like we think of it, or is it something else?

    /Mike
     
  2. Jeffrey Noel

    Jeffrey Noel Screenwriter

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    I hope they're not made of the gas I produce! P-yew!!!
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Jupiter is believed to have a molten, rocky core--but the vast bulk of the planet is a gaseous atmosphere. Hence, it's a "gas giant." Think of it as a failed star.
     
  4. John Spencer

    John Spencer Supporting Actor

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    Most, if not all, gas planets have some form of solid center that creates the gravitational pull which holds the gases (and other non-solid material) in a planet-like shape.
     
  5. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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  6. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    I don't know about "landing" on a gas giant, the atmosphere is so thick that you'd need a submersible, not a space ship. But barring atmospheric pressure which would likely crush your submersible's 6-foot thick steel walls like a soda can, I suppose you could "land" on the core. You'd have to get through a few thousand miles of liquified hydrogen to reach the core though. What would you find there, probably not much of anything. It would be pitch dark since no sunlight could get through the thick, dense gaseous atmosphere.
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    All gas giants are failed stars--their lack of enough mass is why they are failed stars.

    No, there's no way they can be landed upon--and the atmospheric pressure is too great to submerse a vehicle in for long; remember, the Galileo spacecraft's "piggyback" atmospheric probe was able to return data for only a few minutes before it crumpled and burned.

    Also, bear in mind that Jupiter has the most intense radiation field of any object in the Solar System short of the Sun. It's a lethal place to be.
     
  8. Scott Hayes

    Scott Hayes Second Unit

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    Would it be possible to light a gas giant if they are failed stars as in the end of the movie 2010? I wouldnt mind living in a binary star system, planet would be warm all the time, wouldnt have to put up with snow shoveling.[​IMG]
     
  9. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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  10. Joseph Howard

    Joseph Howard Stunt Coordinator

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    Ahem....
    Actually, "Gas giant" only refers to the part of the
    planet we can see.
    For example, Jupiter probably has a rocky molten core
    that is much larger than the Earth, but much smaller
    than the planet's overall diameter. Also, what this
    "rocky molten" core might look like is a very hard
    question to answer because the temperature and pressure
    on the material is incredibly high. Think of it as
    an incredibly dense sea of incredibly hot lava, but
    unlike any lava type material we can fathom. In fact,
    it might behave more like a "plastic" under the
    conditions in the inner reaches of Jupiter.
    Most of a gas giant, by volume is LIQUID!! NOT Gas. Most of
    the interior of Jupiter is a differentiated liquid sea
    of hydrogen, maybe even helium. And this liquid (it is
    a liquid because the atmopsheric pressure is soooo high!)
    sits on top of the "molten core."
    Lastly, like the peel on an orange, is the comparatively
    thin (thin to the rest of Jupiter that is) layer of
    "GAS" that we associate with a "gas giant" planet.
    So, interestingly, most of a "Gas giant" is more likly a
    planet of highly compressed liquid seas. Most of a "gas
    giant" isn't gas, but liquid.
    We call them "gas giants" because that is as much as we
    can "see" at this point.
    A link.... to start your tour of the interior of the
    outer solar system worlds.
    Inside Jupiter for Example
    Dr. Joe
     
  11. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Hmmmmmm....
    If it's mostly liquid.... any possibility of farming it for extra fuel/etc for ships? If you could figure a way to mine that huge sea of hydrogen, you could setup nice space outposts from Mars on out. Might make for an interesting way to put people on Mars.
    Of course, I know there's something fundamentally wrong with this idea. I'm only posting it so someone who knows more than I can shoot it down. [​IMG]
     
  12. Scott Hayes

    Scott Hayes Second Unit

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    Unless I lost my mind, a very real possibility, isnt Mars between the Earth and Jupiter? That would be an extremely long haul for some fuel. Or is that the fundamentaly wrong problem you spoke of?[​IMG]
     
  13. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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  14. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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  15. Frank Anderson

    Frank Anderson Cinematographer

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    You can learn all kinds of stuff on HTF.

    In reguards to Shoemaker-Levy... did Jupiters gravity suck them in or where they on a direct line?
     

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