Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 9 months ago

Does a planet have to have a molten core and land mass to be a planet or can a planet be all gas?

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  • 9 months ago

    Isn't Jupiter a gas giant? Is Jupiter classed as a planet in our solar system? I REST MY CASE ME LUD.;-)

    PS.

    Me Lud is MY LORD. ;-) Stanley! For Christs sake stop embarrassing Mental, he knows what Me Lud means. ;-)

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  • 9 months ago

    Planets *can* be made up of all gas;  to be called a 'planet', the IAU has laid out 3 criteria for what a planet is - and, what it's made of doesn't seem to matter.

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  • 9 months ago

    Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are planets made up of all gas.

    • Tor9 months agoReport

      Actually Jupiter has been shown to have a small solid core.

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  • Al
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    You mean like Jupiter???

    • Lv 6
      9 months agoReport

      ¯\_( ͡❛ ͜ʖ ͡❛)_/¯

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  • 9 months ago

    Very good question. I have asked this myself. It all comes back to the IAU upon which the subject gets very touchy and people get upset.

    Apparently if a, um, "world", fails some criteria it is no longer a planet, yet if a, um, "world" is a huge ball of gas then it IS still a planet. Apparently the definition of a "planet" is very stretchy and rubbery, then it suddenly breaks. Fascinating.

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    • Lv 6
      9 months agoReport

      I'm going to send you a funny meme I found years ago.
      It won't be relevant to your question, but you'll understand

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  • 9 months ago

    A ball of gas with no solid or liquid components would still be a planet if it fulfilled the other criteria. Whether such planets exist today is another question. Probably in the early Universe they did, because the only elements which existed at the time would've been hydrogen and helium, and even a large planet has to collapse initially.

    Probably the alternatives are either a planet orbiting so close to its primary that all parts of it are above the critical temperature for all substances making it up, and such planets do seem to exist in the form of so-called "puffy planets", or a fairly small planet - smaller than Neptune - orbiting fairly far from its sun, which isn't massive enough to build up enough pressure for its interior to become liquid or solid.

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  • 9 months ago

    A planet is:

    1. Spherical due to its mass

    2. Orbits the sun, not another planet

    3. Has cleared its orbital path of debris

    Note nothing in the IAU definition of planet has anything to do with composition.

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  • User
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    The International Astronomical Union defined a planet as an object that:

    orbits the sun

    has sufficient mass to be round, or nearly round

    is not a satellite (moon) of another object

    has removed debris and small objects [my explanation: objects smaller than the planet itself, excepting satellites] from the area around its orbit

    So:

    molten core - unnecessary to be a planet

    land mass - unnecessary to be a planet

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    Well Jupiter, a gas giant, is a planet and it has no land mass. Neptune and Saturn also have no land masses but are also planet's.

    I'm pretty sure planetary status is dependent on size predominantly.

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