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This is a drawing of the transition from the atmosphere to the interior.
Click on image for full size
NASA

The Structure of Jupiter's Interior

There is no surface to the giant planets, only a gradual transition from the atmosphere, as depicted in this drawing. The hydrogen and helium of which Jupiter is mostly composed change to liquid form under the high pressure conditions found in the interior, but the change is very gradual. Therefore the giant planets do not have strict layers, as the terrestrial planets do.

The liquid portions of Jupiter form by far the largest sections of the planet, although the liquid layer is not composed of water. The first liquid layer inside Jupiter, immediately under the atmosphere, is the liquid hydrogen layer. Under the liquid hydrogen layer is a liquid metallic hydrogen layer.

At the deepest part of Jupiter is the core, which is probably the size of planet Earth.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA