Model of Jupiter's interior, illustration

Model of Jupiter's interior, illustration

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Credit: RAMON ANDRADE 3DCIENCIA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Model of Jupiter's interior, illustration. Proposed model of the interior of the gas giant planet Jupiter. Jupiter consists mainly of hydrogen and helium (around 75 percent and 24 percent by mass). Around 1 percent is other elements and chemicals (ammonia, methane, water, ethane, silicon, hydrogen sulphide, neon, oxygen, phosphine and sulphur). At a boundary (white) at a depth of around 1000 kilometres, the transition to liquid molecular hydrogen (yellow) occurs and continues down to about 15,000 kilometres. At this point, under great pressure, the hydrogen molecules begin to dissociate and the electrons flow freely between hydrogen nuclei (pink). The electric currents in this layer generate the planet's powerful magnetic field. Below this depth is a layer of compressed metallic hydrogen (blue). In this layer, it is thought that a liquid helium-neon rain occurs. The core consists of heavier elements mixed with hyper-pressurized and hyper-heated metallic hydrogen.

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