Giant Planets & Satellites

Internal structure of gas giants and ice giants. Equations of state. Equilibrium of rotating bodies. Escape of internal heat.


Please read the following in Carroll & Ostlie. Note that you only need to read the subsections of 10.4 listed here.

10.4 Energy Transport and Thermodynamics
Adiabatic Gradient — Convection Criterion
21.1 The Giant Worlds
The Discovery of the Galilean Moons — The Discoveries of Uranus and Neptune — Missions to the Giant Planets — Composition and Structure — The Distribution of Mass Inside the Planets — The Cores of the Planets — Internal Heat and the Cooling Timescale — Modeling the Interiors of the Giant Planets — The Upper Atmospheres — The Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 Impacts on Jupiter — Atmospheric Dynamics — Magnetic Fields
21.2 The Moons of the Giants
The Evolution of the Galilean Moons — The Effects of Tidal Forces on Io — Io's Interaction with Jupiter's Magnetic Field — Europa — Ganymede — Callisto — A Unified Formation of the Galilean Moons — The Smaller Moons of Jupiter — Saturn's Titan with its Thick Atmosphere — Mimas and the Herschel Crater — The Chaotic Surface of Miranda, a Moon of Uranus — Neptune's Triton
21.3 Planetary Ring Systems
The Structure of Saturn's Rings — The Composition of Saturn's Rings — Jupiter's Tenuous Ring System — The Rings of Uranus — Neptune's Rings — Physical Processes Affecting Ring Systems — Ring Formation


Giant Planets & Satellites. I, 2 October 2012

Giant Planets & Satellites. II, 4 October 2012


Problem Set #6: Due 11 October 2012. Note clarification added to problem 4(a).

Joshua E. Barnes      (barnes at
Updated: 4 October 2012
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