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The Outer Planets


Key Terms:

Notes: (27-2)

Beyond Mars and separated by the asteroid belt the planets undergo a distinct change that makes them very different than the terrestrial planets.  The outer planets are dalled Jovian (Jupiter-like) planets.

much more massive than the terrestrial planets
do not have solid surfaces
comprised of mainly hydrogen and helium
all have ring systems
consisting of many particles
are nearer than the moons
orbit around the planet's equator

Jupiter - facts

fifth planet
period = 11.9 years (~4343.5 days)
rotation less than 10 hours (fastest)
largest & most massive planet
has the strongest magnetic field in the solar system (planets)
radiates twice as much heat as it receives
covered with convection zones
gives striped appearance
the great red spot - massive storm

(galilei.iespana.es/galilei/ astrofisica/jupiter.jpg)


Saturn - facts

sixth planet
period = ~30yrs
rotation =~10 hrs
covered with convection zones
gives striped appearance
lowest density of any planet
radiates more energy than it receives
strong magnetic field
most visible ring system

(nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/ image/saturn.jpg)


Uranus - facts

seventh planet
period =~84 years
rotation =~17.2 hours
only planet to rotate on its side
may have been tipped by a large collision
average Temp = -200oC
strong magnetic field
is not aligned with its axis

(nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/ image/uranus.jpg)


Neptune - facts

eighth planet
most distant Jovian planet
period = ~165 years
rotation = ~16.1 hours
strong magnetic field
tilted from its axis
may be from large stores of internal water vapor
strong winds - up to 2000 km/hr
average temp = -225oC
occasionally becomes the ninth planet as Pluto dips into its orbital plane - occurs for about 20 years of its orbital period

(nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/ image/neptune.jpg)


Pluto - facts

ninth planet
smallest planet
its moon Charon is ~ 1/2 its size
considered to be a 2 planet system
most of its atmosphere is frozen
surface may consist of 70% rock and 30% water

(nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/.../pluto/ hst_pluto_charon.jpg)








Last modified: May 12, 2003