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This is a drawing showing another form of motions in a planets interior.
Click on image for full size

Motions in Saturn's Interior, part 2

Motions, or currents in the interior of a gas-giant planet such as Saturn 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 planet is shown in this picture. Strong heat coming from within a planet can cause this kind of motion to take place. The drawing shows layered cylinders of material, in motion, rolling in different directions. It is thought that this pattern may be in operation because the tips of the cylinders may match up with the striped pattern of clouds seen in the atmosphere.

It is not known which of these two kinds of motion, one typical of the earth, and one like this, prevails in the interior of Saturn.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF