Saturn may have 'failed' as a gas giant

Jul 28, 2023
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So where does that put Neptune & Uranus?
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Mar 5, 2021
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So where does that put Neptune & Uranus?
363434298_10159925409437151_6320559635495570538_n.jpg
Uranus' atmospheric composition by volume is 82.5% hydrogen, 15.2% helium and 2.3% methane. Its internal structure is made up of a mantle of water, ammonia and methane ices, as well as a core of iron and magnesium silicate. Neptune' Atmospheric composition by volume is 80% hydrogen, 19% helium, 1.5% methane ices,
Magnetic field: Roughly 27 times more powerful than Earth's
Composition by mass: 25% rock, 60-70% ice, 5-15% hydrogen and helium
Internal composition: Mantle mantle of water, ammonia and methane ices; Core of iron and magnesium-silicate
 
I agree with skynr. Listed in Wikipedia, The proportion of H and He, Jupiter is 99%, Saturn is 99.55%, Uranus is 98%, and Neptune is 99%. The only difference is size. They should all be gas giants. OK, Jupiter might be a gas supergiant, Saturn a regular gas giant, Uranus and Neptune might be gas juniors.
 
"One astrophysicist is suggesting we remove Saturn's status as a gas giant, saying the planet tried but didn't quite make the cut."

I enjoy telescope views of Saturn using my 90-mm refractor and 10-inch Newtonian telescopes. With my 90-mm refractor I can see usually two moons. With the 10-inch, 5-6 moons are common sights.

Perhaps if I wait long enough, Saturn will cease to exist as a *planet* as new definitions emerge, and then when I look out in the solar system, I may not see it anymore :)
 
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Jul 29, 2023
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The facts of the article are interesting but Saturn is still a gas giant due to the fact that it's a giant planet and it's mostly gas! I've noticed in the stories about newly discovered planets around other stars that there are also a lot of planets much larger than Jupiter. Maybe what we should really be talking about is a new category of "Super Gas Giants" rather than changing the classification we use for Solar System planets.
 
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The facts of the article are interesting but Saturn is still a gas giant due to the fact that it's a giant planet and it's mostly gas! I've noticed in the stories about newly discovered planets around other stars that there are also a lot of planets much larger than Jupiter. Maybe what we should really be talking about is a new category of "Super Gas Giants" rather than changing the classification we use for Solar System planets.
Good observation. If we examine the exoplanet sites, we may need *Super-duper* gas giants too :)
 
Jul 29, 2023
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Good observation. If we examine the exoplanet sites, we may need *Super-duper* gas giants too :)

I think that the term "gas giant" currently applies to large planets all the way up to just under the size of brown dwarf stars. So an alternative is to continue calling all of them gas giants and then add a set of sub-classifications.