Models of the giant planets

M. Podolak*, A. G.W. Cameron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Models of the giant planets were constructed based on the assumption that the hydrogen to helium ratio is solar in these planets. This assumption, together with arguments about the condensation sequence in the primitive solar nebula, yields models with a central core of rock and possibly ice surrounded by an envelope of hydrogen, helium, methane, ammonia, and water. These last three volatiles may be individually enhanced due to condensation at the period of core formation. Jupiter was found to have a core of about 40 earth masses and a water enhancement in the atmosphere of about 7.5 times the solar value. Saturn was found to have a core of 20 earth masses and a water enhancement in the atmosphere of about 25 times the solar value. Rock plus ice constitute 75-85% of the mass of Uranus and Neptune. Temperatures in the interiors of these planets are probably above the melting points, if there is an adiabatic relation throughout the interiors. Some aspects of the sensitivities of these results to uncertainties in rotational flattening are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-148
Number of pages26
JournalIcarus
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1974
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Models of the giant planets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this