This is a drawing depicting the motions in earth's atmosphere.
Click on image for full size
Image from: Random House Atlas
Motions in Saturn's Interior
Motions in the interior of a planet help carry heat from the inside to the outside.
The drawing to the left illustrates a kind of global motion that is typical of motions in the atmosphere as well as interior of a planet. Material rises from where it is warmest, and moves in a roiling motion like the boiling of a pot. In the drawing, there are three different cells of activity in the atmosphere where the air turns over (depicted by red sheets).
In the interior of Saturn, the liquid layers are warm enough to move in this fashion. Some scientists think, however, that the heat from within Saturn causes different sorts of motions.
In any case, the enormous magnetosphere of Saturn is produced by motions in the liquid metallic hydrogen layer inside Saturn.
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:
Saturn's magnetosphere is not as big as Jupiter's, but is very large nonetheless. It extends well beyond the orbits of Saturn's moons. It is probably generated in the same manner as is Jupiter's, which...more
The first liquid layer inside Saturn, immediately under the atmosphere, is the liquid hydrogen layer. The hydrogen atmosphere becomes thicker and thicker, a fog with more and more liquid hydrogen droplets,...more
The Giant planets do not have the same layered structure that the terrestrial planets do. Their evolution was quite different than that of the terrestrial planets, and they have less solid material inside....more
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 Saturn is mostly composed change to liquid form under...more
The most important motions in the atmosphere are winds. The major winds in Saturn's atmosphere are the zonal winds which are composed of alternating belts and zones flowing in opposite directions. Belts...more
The striped cloud bands on Saturn, like Jupiter, are divided into belts and zones. In a belt, the wind flows very strongly in one direction only. In a zone, the wind flows very strongly in exactly the...more
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...more