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

You are watching: Why do the jovian planet interiors differ

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

Have you ever wondered why Jupiter and Saturn are incredibly cshed in dimension, yet Jupiter"s average density is practically twice Saturn"s? The answer lies in exactly how you construct a world out of hydrogen and helium. The procedure is similar to stacking pillows one on top of an additional. As even more pillows are stacked on optimal, the pillows on the bottom become more and even more compressed. The bottom pillows continue to compush till a allude as soon as including pillows does not rise the height of the stack.

Planet Radius vs. Mass(click to enlarge)

This helps describe why the radii of Jupiter and also Saturn are incredibly close, but Jupiter is more than three times as enormous. Jupiter ongoing to collect hydrogen and also helium in its setting, enhancing its mass and compushing its interior until its average density was twice Saturn"s.

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

Notice that even though Neptune and Uranus are smaller in dimension, their densities are a lot larger than Saturn"s. This leads us to believe that Uranus and Neptune have to have substantially various compositions than that of Saturn, with a a lot bigger fractivity of higher-density product such as hydrogen compounds and rock.

Back to top

All 4 jovian earth cores are equivalent in complace. Each consists of a mixture of rock, steel and hydrogen compounds. Their distinctions stem from having actually captured different amounts of added hydrogen and helium gas from the solar nebula. Jupiter captured so much that it finished up via 300 times Earth"s mass.

Jovial Planet Interiors(click to enlarge)
A Pie Slice of Jupiter"s Density
LAYERS SURROUNDING JOVIAN CORES (FROM CORE OUTWARD):Jupiter and SaturnMetallic hydrogenLiquid hydrogenGaseous hydrogenVisible cloudsUranus and NeptuneGaseous hydrogenVisible cloudsDensity, temperature and also press increase via distance from the cloud tops.

See more: Which Of The Following Is An Example Of Mullerian Mimicry In Nature

Back to top

The jovian planets gain their warm from the Sun and from their interiors. Jupiter creates the majority of inner heat and releases this warmth by emitting thermal radiation. In reality, Jupiter creates so much interior warmth that it emits almost twice as a lot power as it receives from the Sun. The just reasonable explacountry is that Jupiter is still slowly contracting, practically as though it has not fairly finished developing.

Sarevolve and also Neptune also show up to be emitting more energy than they get from the Sun. While we are specific Sarotate is not still contracting, it seems clear that Neptune is still contracting. Uranus is the only jovian earth not emitting excess internal power.