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Jovian Planets - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Jovian Planets

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  1. Jovian Planets Rulers of the Solar System

  2. Properties • Most of Jupiter and Saturn and about half of Uranus and Neptune are made of Hydrogen and Helium

  3. Voyager

  4. Energy • With no surface, no surface modification processes • No craters • No volcanoes • No tectonics • No erosion • These are big planets • Big planets have lots of internal energy • With no endogenic surface processes, where does the energy go?

  5. Bands & Storms

  6. Bands • Differential rotation – poles take longer to rotate than equator

  7. Storms

  8. The great red spot

  9. SL9

  10. Interiors

  11. Magnetosphere

  12. Uranus’ orbit

  13. Planetary Rings • All the “Jovian planets” have rings • These are not solid, but composed of millions of tiny particles of ice and dust • Rings have structure: gaps and spokes

  14. Rings

  15. Ring structure

  16. What makes the rings?

  17. Shepard moons

  18. Planetary rings – Why? • Left to itself, a ring will slowly spread out due to gravitational interactions • Rings are bounded by the stronger gravity of larger bodies: The planet itself and some of the larger and nearby moons • Some bounds are due to gravitational resonances, others due to the direct action of sheparding satellites • The origin of the rings is unknown – either a failed satellite or a broken satellite • A reason is known: the tidal stability limit at 2.5 times the radius of the body. Interior to this, 2 touching particles will be pulled apart by the planet’s gravity • Why don’t inner planets have rings? Gravitation perturbations by the Sun will cause any small particles to spiral into the planets on a relatively short time scale.