Gas Giants of the Solar System: Curious Facts

The gas giants of the solar system, like any otherthe other, mostly composed of gases. The physical and chemical characteristics of these planets are so different from all our surroundings that they can not but attract interest even from those who are very far from astronomy.

Gas giants

gas giants of the solar system

It is known that the objects of our star system are conditionally divided into two groups: terrestrial and gas. The second includes planets that do not have a solid shell. Our star has four such objects:

  • Jupiter.
  • Saturn.
  • Uranus.
  • Neptune.

The gas giants of the solar system are distinguished by the uncertainty of the boundaries between the core, the shell and the atmosphere of the planet. Actually, even the confidence in the presence of a nucleus is not available to scientists.

According to the most likely system of originof our world, the gas giants of the Solar System appeared much later than the terrestrial planets. Pressure in the atmosphere of giants grows with the deepening. Experts believe that closer to the center of the planet, it is so large that hydrogen passes into a liquid form.

Gas bodies rotate about their axis faster,than solid. Curiously, the planets (gas giants) of the solar system produce more heat than they receive from the Sun. This phenomenon can be partially explained by gravitational energy, but the origin of the remainder of the scientist is not entirely clear to the end.

Jupiter

planet gas giants of the solar system

The largest planet of the solar system - gasthe giant Jupiter. It is so large that you can even see it with the naked eye - in the night sky, this object is the third in brightness, only the Moon and Venus are more visible. Even in a small telescope, you can see the disk of Jupiter with four points - satellites.

The planet can boast not only the mostlarge dimensions, but also the strongest magnetic field - it is 14 times more than the earth's. There is an opinion that it was created by the movement of metallic hydrogen in the bowels of the giant. The radio emission from the planet is so powerful that it damages any apparatus that approaches closely.
Despite the giant dimensions of Jupiter, it rotateshe is faster than all his fellow-creatures in the stellar system - a complete treatment takes only 10 hours. But its orbit is so large that the flight around the Sun occupies 12 terrestrial years.

Jupiter is the gas giant closest to us,therefore he is most studied among the planets of his group. It was to this body that most of the spacecraft were directed. At the moment, the "Juno" probe is in orbit, collecting information about the planet and its satellites. The ship was launched in 2011, in July 2016 it reached the orbit of the planet. In August of the same year, he flew as close as possible - skirting Jupiter only 4200 km from its surface. In February 2018, it is planned to flood the device in the atmosphere of the giant. The whole world is waiting for snapshots of this process.

Saturn

The biggest planet of the solar system is the gas giant

The second largest gas giant Solarsystem - Saturn. This planet is considered the most mysterious, thanks to its rings, about the origin of which the scientists of the whole world are arguing. Today it is known that they consist of various pieces of rock, ice and dust. There are particles with a speck of dust, but there are also objects up to a kilometer in diameter. It is curious that the widths of the rings could be sufficient to cross them from Earth to the Moon, whereas their width is only about a kilometer.

The reflected light of this object exceeds the amount reflected by the planet. Not even a very powerful telescope is enough to see the rings of Saturn.

Scientists found that the density of the planet is half that of water: if it were possible to immerse Saturn in water, it would remain afloat.

On the giant, very strong winds - at the equatorVortices are recorded with an average speed of 1800 km / h. To roughly represent their strength, you should compare them with the most powerful tornado, whose speed reaches 512 km / h.
The day of Saturn flies quickly - in just 10 hours, 14 minutes, while the year lasts for 29 Earth years.

Uranus

The second largest gas giant of the solar system

This planet is called an ice giant, becauseUnder the atmosphere of hydrogen, helium and methane, not only rocks are located, but also high-temperature modifications of ice. Scientists have discovered clouds of hydrogen, ammonia and ice, floating in the atmosphere of Uranus.

The planet can boast the coldest in our Star system atmosphere - minus 224 degrees. Scientists suggest the presence of water on the giant, which, in turn, makes life possible.

An interesting feature of Uranus is its equatoris located across the orbit: the planet as if lay on its side. This situation makes a completely unique change of seasons. The poles of the planet do not see sunlight for 42 of our year. It is easy to calculate that the complete revolution around the Sun, Uranus makes for 84 years.
Rotation around its axis takes place within 17 hours 14 minutes, however, strong winds (up to 2 m / s) accelerate some details of the atmosphere, causing them to run over the planet in 14 hours.

Previously it was believed that the slope of the planet changedafter a collision with a large object, but today scientists are inclined to the version of the impact of neighbors on the system. It is assumed that the gravity fields of Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune were brought down the axis of Uranus.

Neptune

Neptune

This planet is the most remote from the Sun, so most of the information about it is based on calculations and remote observations.

The year on Neptune is almost 165 Earth years. The atmosphere is so unstable that the equator of the planet revolves around the axis in 18 hours, the poles in 12, and the magnetic field in 16.1.

The gravity of the giant has a significant influenceto objects located in the Kuiper belt. There is evidence that the planet has disabled several areas of the belt, resulting in its structure appeared gaps.
The temperature of the center of Neptune reaches 7000 degrees - the same as most of the known planets or on the surface of the Sun.

Gas giants of the solar system have similar characteristics, but they are completely different objects, each of which deserves that we learn about them as much as possible.