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Chapter 7 : Mentos. Chapter 7 The Jovian Planets. Units of Chapter 7. Observations of Jupiter and Saturn The Discoveries of Uranus and Neptune Bulk Properties of the Jovian Planets Jupiter’s Atmosphere The Atmospheres of the Outer Jovian Worlds Jovian Interiors Summary of Chapter 7.

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units of chapter 7
Units of Chapter 7

Observations of Jupiter and Saturn

The Discoveries of Uranus and Neptune

Bulk Properties of the Jovian Planets

Jupiter’s Atmosphere

The Atmospheres of the Outer Jovian Worlds

Jovian Interiors

Summary of Chapter 7

7 1 observations of jupiter and saturn
7.1 Observations of Jupiter and Saturn

Jupiter can be imaged well from Earth, even with a small telescope.

Here: Jupiter with its Galilean moons

7 2 the discoveries of uranus and neptune
7.2 The Discoveries of Uranus and Neptune

Uranus, in natural color. Note the absence of features.

7 3 bulk properties of the jovian planets
7.3 Bulk Properties of the Jovian Planets

The Jovian planets are large and much less dense than the terrestrial planets; Saturn is less dense than water!


Peculiarity of Uranus: Axis of rotation lies almost in the plane of its orbit. Seasonal variations are extreme.

7 4 jupiter s atmosphere
7.4 Jupiter’s Atmosphere

Atmosphere has bright zones and dark belts.

Zones are cooler, and are higher than belts.

Stable flow underlies zones and bands, called zonal flow.

Simplified model:


No solid surface; take top of troposphere to be 0 km.

Lowest cloud layer cannot be seen by optical telescopes.

Measurements by Galileo probe show high wind speeds even at great depth – probably due to heating from planet, not from Sun.


The Galileo probe descended into Jupiter’s atmosphere and returned valuable data. The arrow indicates its entry point.


Major visible features:

Bands of clouds; Great Red Spot


Two examples of smaller storms merging, first into a smaller red spot, second into existing Great Red Spot

7 5 the atmospheres of the outer jovian worlds
7.5 The Atmospheres of the Outer Jovian Worlds

The atmosphere of Saturn is similar to that of Jupiter, except that Saturn is somewhat colder and its atmosphere is thicker.


Saturn’s atmosphere is similar to Jupiter’s, except pressure is lower.

It has three cloud layers.

Cloud layers are thicker than Jupiter’s; see only top layer.


Neptune has storm systems similar to those on Jupiter, but fewer. The large storm system at top has disappeared in recent years.

7 6 jovian interiors
7.6 Jovian Interiors

No direct information is available about Jupiter’s interior, but its main components, hydrogen and helium, are quite well understood. The central portion is thought to be a rocky core.


Magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune must not be produced by dynamos, as the other planets’ fields are.

Interior structure of Uranus and Neptune, compared to that of Jupiter and Saturn:


Jupiter’s magnetosphere:

Intrinsic field strength is 20,000 times that of Earth.

Magnetosphere can extend beyond the orbit of Saturn.


Aurorae are seen on Jupiter, and have the same cause as those on Earth – the interaction of solar wind particles with the magnetosphere.


Uranus and Neptune both have substantial magnetic fields, but at a large angle to their rotation axes.

The rectangle within each planet shows a bar magnet that would produce a similar field. Note that both Uranus’s and Neptune’s are significantly off center.


How do we know what the internal structures of the Jovian planets are like?

  • Probes have been sent into the interiors of the planets and have returned data about the conditions.
  • Astronomers use the Earth's internal structure as a basis of comparison.
  • Astronomers examine the composition of the satellites of these planets.
  • Astronomers use information about the physical characteristics as well as laws of physics to obtaintheoretical models.

Which of the following statements is FALSE?

Interior heating in the Jovian planets contribute to convection in the atmospheres.

Slow rotation rates lead to very strong coriolisforces.

The circulation patterns tend to be in very elongated bands that encircle the planets.

The circulation speeds increase towards the equator.


Near the core of Jupiter, hydrogen is

    • a low temperature gas.
    • a high temperature gas.
    • a solid.
    • a liquid.
    • a liquid metal.

The great red spot of Jupiter is thought to be

caused by an enormous volcano.

a region of hotter gases.

a long-lasting cyclonic storm.

an opening through the high level clouds revealing a portion of the atmosphere nearer the surface.


Which of the following are true about Jupiter's belts (dark) and zones(light)

belts are rising while zones are sinking.

belts are sinking while zones are rising.

both belts and zones are rising.

both belts and zones are sinking.


Jupiter's magnetic field probably originates

in the liquid metallic hydrogen region.

from the solar wind.

in the vicinity of Io.

from the motion of the Galilean satellites.


Compared to Earth, the expected seasonal changes on Uranus because of its orbital and spin-axis alignments will be

much less.

very much exaggerated.

absent, because of the alignment of the spin axis.

the same.


From the results of the voyager 2 mission of Uranus, we now know that the

planet has fewer rings than expected.

magnetic field has a large tilt to the spin axis.

larger moons have smooth surfaces and little evolution.

rings are made of objects hundreds of meters in radius.


Since Uranus has a higher average density than Saturn

it must rotate faster.

it must have much more rocky material.

it must have a stronger magnetic field.

it must have a higher concentration of icy materials.


Summary of Chapter 7

  • Jupiter and Saturn were known to the ancients; Uranus was discovered by chance, and Neptune was predicted from anomalies in the orbit of Uranus.
  • Jovian planets are large but not dense; they are fluid and display differential rotation.
  • Cloud layers have light zones and dark bands; wind pattern, called zonal flow, is stable.

Summary of Chapter 7, cont.

  • Storms appear with regularity; the Great Red Spot of Jupiter has lasted for hundreds of years (that we know of).
  • Due to conductive interiors and rapid rotation, Jovian planets have large magnetic fields.
  • Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune radiate more energy than they receive from the Sun.