Helium Rain Explains Neon Mystery On Jupiter

Monday, March 22, 2010 - 13:49 in Astronomy & Space

Scientists claim that helium rain is the best explanation for the scarcity of neon in the outer layers of Jupiter, the solar system's largest planet. Neon dissolves in the helium raindrops and falls towards the deeper interior where it re-dissolves, depleting the upper layers of both elements, say the authors of the new report in Physical Review Letters. The research will help refine models of Jupiter's interior and the interiors of other planets. Modeling planetary interiors has become a hot research area since the discovery of hundreds of extrasolar planets living in extreme environments around other stars. The study will also be relevant for NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter, which is scheduled to be launched next year. read more

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