Latest Gas giant Stories

2010-01-06 08:15:00

In their quest to find solar systems analogous to ours, astronomers have determined how common our solar system is. They've concluded that about 15 percent of stars in the galaxy host systems of planets like our own, with several gas giant planets in the outer part of the solar system. "Now we know our place in the universe," said Ohio State University astronomer Scott Gaudi. "Solar systems like our own are not rare, but we're not in the majority, either." Gaudi reported the results of the...

2009-04-21 08:19:12

An international team of scientists has found that giant exoplanets orbiting very close to their stars could lose a quarter of their mass during their lifetime.  The team found that planets that orbit closer than 2% of an Astronomical Unit (AU), the distance between the Earth and the Sun, may lose their atmospheres completely, leaving just their core.  The team, led by Dr Helmut Lammer of the Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, believe that the recently...

2009-01-27 08:30:00

Models of how Saturn and Jupiter formed may soon take on a different look. By determining the properties of hydrogen-helium mixtures at the millions of atmospheres of pressure present in the interior of Saturn and Jupiter, physicists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have determined the temperature at a given pressure when helium becomes insoluble in dense metallic hydrogen. The results are directly relevant to models of the interior...

2008-11-25 12:50:00

Jupiter has a rocky core that is more than twice as large as previously thought, according to computer calculations by a University of California, Berkeley, geophysicist who simulated conditions inside the planet on the scale of individual hydrogen and helium atoms. The results were published Nov. 20 in Astrophysical Journal Letters. The simulation predict the properties of hydrogen-helium mixtures at the extreme pressures and temperatures that occur in Jupiter's interior, which cannot yet be...

2008-11-24 14:55:00

NASA is officially moving forward on a mission to conduct an unprecedented, in-depth study of Jupiter. Called Juno, the mission will be the first in which a spacecraft is placed in a highly elliptical polar orbit around the giant planet to understand its formation, evolution and structure. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our early solar system. "Jupiter is the archetype of giant planets in our solar system...

2008-08-08 08:32:34

Our solar system emerged in surprisingly good order from the violence of planetary creation, according to a new simulation. Researchers found that planetary formation in the first few million years often resembles a violent wrestling match among hungry siblings, with planets fighting to feed on gas and dust while pulling at each other with gravitational arms. "There's massive bodies competing with each other and flinging each other around," said Edward Thommes, a physicist at...

2008-08-09 09:00:00

New computer simulations put solar system in universal perspective Prevailing theoretical models attempting to explain the formation of the solar system have assumed it to be average in every way. Now a new study by Northwestern University astronomers, using recent data from the 300 exoplanets discovered orbiting other stars, turns that view on its head. The solar system, it turns out, is pretty special indeed. The study illustrates that if early conditions had been just slightly different,...

2008-08-07 10:20:00

A strange, metal brew lies buried deep within Jupiter and Saturn, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and in London. The study, published in this week's online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrates that metallic helium is less rare than was previously thought and is produced under the kinds of conditions present at the centers of giant, gaseous planets, mixing with metal hydrogen and forming a liquid...

2008-05-09 09:20:00

By shooting the high-energy Omega laser onto precompressed samples of planetary fluids, scientists are gaining a better understanding of the evolution and internal structure of Jupiter, Saturn and extrasolar giant planets.The properties of dense helium (He) "” which happens to be a principal constituent of giant gas planets like Jupiter "” at thermodynamic conditions between those of condensed matter and high-temperature plasmas are theoretically challenging and unexplored...

2008-05-09 08:15:00

You know the planets of our solar system, each a unique world with its own distinctive appearance, size, and chemistry. Mars, with its bitter-cold, rusty red sands; Venus, a fiery world shrouded in thick clouds of sulfuric acid; sideways Uranus and its strange vertical rings. The variety is breathtaking. Now imagine the variety that must exist in hundreds of solar systems. There may be worlds out there that make Venus seem hospitable and Uranus positively upright. Only 20 years ago,...

Latest Gas giant Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:42

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,...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

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
2004-10-19 04:45:41

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...

Solar System
2012-10-22 06:09:41

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...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

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...

More Articles (6 articles) »
Word of the Day
  • The hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed.
This word comes from the Greek 'endon,' in, within, plus the Greek 'kardia,' heart.