Emily LakdawallaAug 10, 2009

Planetary Radio Q and A: What's Jupiter made of?

This week's Planetary Radio features astronomer Heidi Hammel on the recent impact on Jupiter, so go check it out! Each week on Planetary Radio, I do a "Questions and Answers" segment, and I've recently decided to start posting the text of my Q and As, in part so I can give proper credit to the people from whom I crib material.

This week's Q: "I've heard Jupiter called a 'failed star' because it's made mostly of hydrogen. What is it made of, other than hydrogen?"

My answer is taken in large part from a fine astronomy textbook, The Cosmic Perspective, by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit:

Jupiter from Hubble

NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

Jupiter from Hubble
The Hubble Space Telescope took this photo of Jupiter in support of the New Horizons flyby on Feburary 17, 2007 using the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.

If you'd like to submit questions for Q and A, just send an email to planetaryradio at planetary.org, or blog at planetary.org.

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