This drawing depicts a position where the formation of 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 greatly affected their 1. size and 2. composition. This is because of the effect of how cold it was in the nebula.
1. The nebula was a lot warmer close to the proto-sun. The blue line shown in the picture shows the point at which the temperature became cold enough for gases to become ice. At this point and further out, beginning with the forming Jupiter, the materials that forming planets (proto-planets) began to extract from the cloud were ice, as well as rocky material and gas molecules. Retention of ice resulted in these proto-planets becoming giant, massive planets. (The same thing happens to raindrops when it becomes cold enough for the raindrops to become slushy snow drops, the drops are more massive). Planets which formed closer to the proto-sun were smaller, and more rocky.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
As shown in this picture, while they were forming in the solar nebula, the nucleii of the planets-to-be (called protoplanets) drew material to themselves from the cloud of gas and dust around them. The...more
The co-formation theory explains the origin of the moon as an object which formed out of the primitive solar nebula at the same time and roughly the same place as the Earth. As shown in this picture, while...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 explosion 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