MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diagram showing the theoretical interior of the gas giant planet Jupiter. At the centre there is probably a rocky and icy core several times the mass of the Earth. This is surrounded by an extensive inner mantle, more than two-thirds of the planet's total radius, of liquid metallic hydrogen under great pressure. On top of this is the shell of helium-neon 'rain'. Then comes the outer mantle, a layer of liquid molecular hydrogen and helium. And finally comes an extensive hydrogen-helium atmosphere about 1000 km thick.
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