This is an infrared image of Jupiter showing regions which are hot.
Click on image for full size
The Source of Heat from Within Neptune
The picture shows places on Jupiter which are hot. Jupiter is a very warm place, as shown in the picture, sort of like a warm log in the fireplace which gives off heat.
Like Jupiter, Neptune also gives off a lot of heat.
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 Neptune 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 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:
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 in the interior of a gas-giant planet such as Neptune may be very different from the motions within the Earth. A second idea for the motions in the interior of a gas-giant planet is shown in this...more
The picture shows places on Jupiter which are hot. Jupiter is a very warm place, as shown in the picture, sort of like a warm log in the fireplace which gives off heat. Like Jupiter, Neptune also gives...more
Motions in the interior of a planet help to move heat from the inside to the outside. The drawing shows a kind of movement that is usual in the atmosphere as well as the inside of a planet. Material moves...more
This image shows the new Great Dark Spot of Neptune, which was discovered using the Hubble Space Telescope. The image shown here, shows a large "hole" in the clouds of Neptune in pink, in the northern...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
This image shows some clouds known as "cirrus" clouds, extending for many kilometers across the face of Neptune. These clouds are very high up, for they can be seen to cast shadows on the lower clouds,...more
This image of Neptune uses false colors to show where the smog is. The smog of Neptune can be seen in red along the edge of the image. This smog haze is found very high up in the atmosphere, over the clouds...more