This drawing shows a position where ice became important.
Click on image for full size
The position of Jupiter when gas changed to ice
The position of the planets in the solar nebula affected how big they became and what they were made of. The blue line in the picture shows where it became so cold that ice began to form.
Planets that formed beyond the blue line, beginning with the forming Jupiter, drew ice to them, plus molecules of rock and gas. Keeping ice resulted in these forming planets becoming big and full of gas. The planets that formed close to the sun became small and full of rock.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
As shown in this picture, while they were forming in the solar nebula, the core of the planets-to-be drew material to themselves from the cloud of gas and dust around them. The bigger planets-to-be were...more
The co-formation theory explains the origin of the moon as an object which formed out of the initial cloud of gas and dust at the same time and roughly the same place as the Earth. As shown in this picture,...more
The giant planets have definitely changed since their formation. But how much remains to be seen. Most of the original air of the giant planets remains in place. (The earth-like planets lost most of their...more
Scientists believe that the solar system was formed when a cloud of gas and dust in space was disturbed, maybe by the expl osion of a nearby star (called a supernova). This explosion made waves in space...more
The mesosphere of Jupiter is a region of balance between warming and cooling. That essentially means that nothing happens there. Except for diffusion, the atmosphere is still. Upper reaches of the atmosphere,...more
As on Earth, the atmosphere of Jupiter consists of a troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere. The troposphere is the region where the visible clouds are to be found. The stratosphere, as...more
The stratosphere of Jupiter is a region of warming as determined by infrared measurements of methane (CH4) in the region. Like the troposphere, the stratosphere is warmed by the sun, warmed by Jupiter's...more