Jovian Planets

Topics: Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter Pages: 4 (1428 words) Published: January 25, 2013
Jovian Planets
Ranging between 4.95 and 30.4 AU away from the Sun are the Jovian planets. Jovian means of or relating to either the planet or the mythological god, Jupiter. The Jovian planets, also referred to as gas giants, are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. These planets all fit the category of being a Jovian planet due to the mutual inclusiveness of a thick atmosphere composed of hydrogen and helium. These planets are not solid, they only become denser further towards the core. The inner structure of the planet have traces of metals, water, methane and ammonia although it’s possible Neptune and Uranus have liquid cores. There are many moons that orbit and many rings that encircle each planet. Their masses are incredibly high numbers, the Jovians total about 98% of the mass of all the planets in our Solar System, Jupiter alone near 75%. To scale these masses, a Jovian planet is fifteen to almost three hundred twenty times greater in mass than Earth. Jupiter is by far the largest Jovian planet in addition to overall largest planet in the Solar System. It is nearly three hundred twenty times the mass of Earth and the fifth planet from the Sun. Jupiter, discovered in ancient times, was named after the Roman god, Jupiter or Jove, ruler of all of Olympus. Jupiter is characterized by bright orange coloring and a large red circle, the Great Red Spot. The Great Red Spot is an enormous hurricane-like storm that has been tearing through the planet for hundreds of years with no signs of stopping. A level five hurricane on Earth is miniscule compared to this giant cyclone, the storm alone is double the size of Earth. In

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addition to the Great Red Spot, there are many smaller hurricanes, the one of most important being Red Junior, a newly discovered, large hurricane.

Jupiter has sixty-seven moons and three rings. The four largest moons, Europa, Io, Ganymede and Callisto, were discovered by Galileo in 1610. Ganymede, at...
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