Latest Gas giant Stories
The planets of our solar system come in two basic flavors, like vanilla and chocolate ice cream.
How do solar systems form? Specifically, why do some systems form smaller rocky worlds, while others are dominated by gas giants? A recent study led by Trey Mack, a graduate student in astronomy at Vanderbilt University, may have found the answer.
An international team of researchers recently got a sneak peek deep into the lower atmospheric layers of gas giant planets such as Jupiter or Saturn using Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron's (DESY) X-ray laser FLASH.
There is perhaps no field of astronomical research that more captivates our attention than the search for planets outside our solar system. In the last two decades the planet hunting community has exploded, with hundreds of new planets and planet candidates emerging each year.
Planets of Peril has signed a deal to become a feature film! LONG BEACH, Calif., Dec. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Planets in Peril has signed a deal to become a feature film.
University of Arizona astronomers are scratching their heads after discovering the most distant orbiting planet to date which is throwing a wrench in planet formation theories.
Astronomers have discovered a seventh planet orbiting a dwarf star, known as KIC 11442793, making it the first Kepler planetary system with this many alien worlds. The star is about 2,500 light years from Earth and its planetary system could be a record holder.
Researchers, publishing a paper in the journal Nature Communications, say their study on methane's secrets will help scientists better understand the chemistry of planetary interiors.
There are several techniques employed by astronomers to discover planets orbiting distant stars. The most popular techniques seek transits - where a planet will pass directly in front of a star, blocking part of its light.
Research has led to a new theory that may explain the complex and differentiated origins of solar systems.
Terrestrial Planet -- A terrestrial planet is a planet that is mostly composed of silicate rocks and may or may not have a relatively thin atmosphere. The term is derived from the Greek word for Earth, so an alternate definition would be those planets that are more Earth-like than not. Terrestrial planets are very different from gas giants, which may or may not have solid surfaces and are composed mostly of hydrogen and helium in various physical states. Only one terrestrial planet,...
Planet -- A planet is a body of considerable mass that orbits a star and that doesn't produce energy through nuclear fusion. Until recently, only nine were known (all of them in our own Solar system). As of the end of 2002 over 100 are known, with all of the new discoveries being extrasolar planets. Astronomers often call asteroids minor planets, and call the larger planetary bodies (those which are commonly called planets) major planets. Planets within the solar system can be...
Gas Giant -- A gas giant is a generic astronomical term invented by the science fiction writer James Blish to describe any large planet that is not composed mostly of rock or other solid matter. Gas giants may still have a solid core - in fact, it is expected that such a core is probably required for a gas giant to form - but the majority of its mass is in the form of gas (or gas compressed into a liquid state). Unlike rocky planets, gas giants do not have a well-defined surface. There...
The Solar System refers to the area in space that is dominated by our own Sun. It is comprised of the Sun and its associated astronomical objects that are held in its gravitational orbit. The Solar System was formed as a result of the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The mass of this system is located almost entirely in the Sun. Apart from the Sun, a high percentage of the remainder of the system’s mass is located in the eight solitary planets that...
Planet Neptune -- Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun. It is a gas giant. Orbiting so far from the sun, Neptune receives very little heat. Its 'surface' temperature is -218 degrees Celsius (below zero). However, the planet seems to have an internal source of heat. It is thought that this may be leftover heat generated by infalling matter during the planet's birth, now slowly radiating away into space. Neptune's atmosphere has the highest wind speeds in the solar system, up to...
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