Notes on Gas Planets in our Solar System

When we hear the term Gas Giants, our minds race directly to several planets located within our Solar System, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. These planets share several defining characteristics that allow them to be lumped together into the same category. In particular, it is the high percentage of helium and hydrogen within their over-all composition that places them apart from other more terrestrial solar bodies. However, the term Gas Giant is a bit misleading in that it tells us very little about the actual composition of these unique worlds.Gas giants are composed of a high percentage of solid material. Due to the extreme pressure that exists within the core of a gas giant, hydrogen may be converted into a metallic solid or liquid form. Frequently, there are other materials interspersed within this solid matrix as well. Although all gas giants contain high amounts of hydrogen and helium within their overall…

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Super Planet Crash – The Ultimate Space Game

Have you ever wondered how different masses in space interact with each other gravitationally and how stable solar systems form? Then you will want to check out the game Super Planet Crash.Super Planet Crash is a planetary-gravity game that originated from an open-source program used by astronomers to detect planets outside of our Solar System. The game is the work of Greg Laughlin Stefano Meschairi at UC Santa Cruz.This fun and addictive game entice users to create planetary systems utilizing several different astronomical bodies, including Earth-like planets, Super-Earths, Ice Giants, Giant Planets, Brown Dwarfs, and Dwarf Stars. How To Play Super Planet Crash The game starts with a single Earth-like planet orbiting a central parent star. The challenge is for players to create a solar system by adding additional masses within a distance of 2 Astronomic Units from the parent star¬†(1 AU is the distance between the Earth and the Sun).The…

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