Interiors of the Giant Planets

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Science  09 Oct 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4517, pp. 145-149
DOI: 10.1126/science.214.4517.145


Unlike the terrestrial planets, the giant planets—Jupiter, Satum, Uranus, and Neptune—have retained large amounts of the carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen compounds that were present in their zone of formation. A smaller fraction of the available hydrogen and helium was retained. The distribution and relative amounts of these components in the interiors of the Jovian planets can be inferred from theoretical and expermental data on equations of state and from the planets' hydrostatic equilibrium response to rotation.