Saturday, February 23, 2008

The mysteries within Jupiter

Ever wonder what’s inside the planet Jupiter? One astronomy book I read while in junior high back in 1986 speculated that it was a terrestrial world filled with mountain ranges. We now know this is pure fantasy as Jupiter, underneath its clouds, is an enigmatic world of two giant “oceans”—a liquid hydrogen ocean atop a liquid metallic hydrogen ocean. That is, liquid hydrogen under so much atmospheric pressure that it becomes metallic. Nothing like it exists on earth.

Jupiter is also said to have a solid core; some, such as Arthur C. Clarke in 2010: Odyssey Two, speculate that it is an earth-sized diamond.

The pictures above are artists’ conceptions of what Jupiter’s interior looks like.

No comments: