Jupiter. Photo courtesy of NASA (PhysOrg.com) — Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, may be causing its own core to liquefy, at least according to Hugh Wilson and colleague Burkhard Militzer of UC, Berkeley. They’ve come to this conclusion after making quantum mechanical calculations on the conditions that exist within the big planet. In a paper published on the preprint server arXiv, and submitted to Physical Review Letters, the two explain that because the gas giant has a relatively small core made of mostly iron, rock (partly magnesium oxide) and ice, and sits embedded in fluid hydrogen and helium all under great pressure from the planet’s gravity (which has created very high temperatures (16,000 K)), there is a likelihood that the core is liquefying due to the heat and pressure exerted on the magnesium oxide. Researchers moving closer to a soluble solution to Haber-Bocsh process Citation: New calculations suggest Jupiter’s core may be liquefying (2011, December 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-jupiter-core-liquefying.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.