This is an image of Jupiter showing places which are hot.
Click on image for full size
Heat from Inside Jupiter
Have you ever thought that a planet could make energy within itself? If you think about it, the ground is not very cold at all (except in the winter). This means that the Earth makes enough energy for the ground to be sort of warm most of the time.
The energy that Jupiter and Saturn have is very strong, meaning that Jupiter and Saturn are very warm from within themselves.
There are several ways for a heavenly object to make energy from inside. The first is by fusion, the way the sun makes energy. Another way is with radioactive material deep within the ground, the way a planet makes energy.
For the giant planets, the way that works is the mere fact that energy is made when a planet is in the process of shrinking together.
The fact that Jupiter is still shrinking together shows that the process of forming is still going on.
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:
Some materials give off radiation. We call those materials "radioactive". Radioactive materials are often dangerous to people and other living things. There are many different kinds of radioactive materials....more
Motions, or currents in the interior of a gas-giant planet such as Jupiter may be very different from the motions typical of the earth's interior. A second idea for the motions in the interior of a gas-giant...more
The Giant planets do not have the same kind of layers inside that the earth-like planets do. The history of the giant planets was so different that they formed with much more gas on the inside. Jupiter...more
Jupiter has interesting poles. The poles of some of its large moons are interesting too. Io is one of the big moons. Io has volcanoes near its poles! The other big moons are covered with ice, like Earth's...more
Have you ever thought that a planet could make energy within itself? If you think about it, the ground is not very cold at all (except in the winter). This means that the Earth makes enough energy for...more
Motions in the interior of a planet help carry heat from the inside to the outside of the planet. The drawing shows a kind of movement that is usual in the atmosphere as well as the inside of a planet....more
This is the temperature profile of Jupiter's entire atmosphere. The horizontal lines indicate the boundaries between the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, and the thermosphere. ...more
This is a picture of a brown barge. The accompanying clouds, next to the barge, look very similar to earth clouds. ...more