Essay on Jupiter and Saturn

1573 Words 7 Pages
Our solar system consists of eight planets, which can be separated into two categories.
Those which reside inside the asteroid belt named the 'Inner Solar System' namely Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars designated the terrestrial or rocky planets whilst those orbiting beyond the asteroid belt, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune classified as the 'Jovian Planets comprise the 'Outer Solar System'. The term Jovian is derived from Jupiter, which describes the remaining three planets as Jupiter-like.
Unlike the inner terrestrial planets, the Jovian worlds are composed of gas, primarily hydrogen and helium and therefore do not have a solid surface.
They are the four largest planets in our solar system if not by mass, then by diameter with
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When this clump obtains a critical size, mass or density, it begins to collapse under its own inertia pulling in copious amounts of the surrounding material which due to its random angular motion induces a rotational spin to the whole system creating a solar nebula around the embryo star. This rotation causes the nebula to flatten out and form a disk around the emerging protosun stretching for many hundreds of Au either side. The whole process occurs very quickly in astronomical time, and the atmosphere within this disk is thought to be the environment for planetary formation, consequently the name protoplanetary disk.
The material composition of a protoplanetary disk may vary, but it is considered to be predominately hydrogen and helium (98%); hydrogen compounds (1.4%) in the form of water, methane and ammonia; with the so called 'dust' as metals (0.2%) such as iron, nickel and aluminium associated with rock (0.4%) containing various minerals. These constituent materials will be found throughout the disk, but their abundances will be greater towards the centre of the system due to the gravitational pull, and become more rarefied near the outer edges.

Next we have to consider why of the eight planets existing in our solar system, the nearest

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