You may be wondering which planets have a solid surface. If so you can read on for more information. This article includes information about Earth Uranus and Neptune. It also includes information about Ganymede another moon of Jupiter. The answer to the question will surprise you! You may have never heard of this moon and you’ll be surprised by what you learn! If you don’t know keep reading to find out!
Although astronomers are not sure exactly how Neptune got its solid surface they believe it’s one of the hottest places in the Solar System. Neptune’s atmosphere contains hydrogen helium methane and a few other constituents that make it glow bluish. Neptune has four layers of air one of which is the lower troposphere followed by the stratosphere and thermosphere and the exosphere.
In addition to water the four gas giant planets have a cloudy atmosphere which makes their surfaces appear dark blue or green. Saturn’s pale gold surface is partially obscured by a layer of ammonia-ice while Neptune’s white haze partly covers red clouds below. Neptune is much darker than Uranus which is due to its far greater distance from the Sun.
As Neptune is so far removed from Earth it’s difficult to study it in great detail. But scientists have been speculating for 40 years that the planets of the outer Solar System may rain diamonds. While the outer planets are not easy to study NASA has been taking a closer look at 55 Cancri e which has earned the name of ‘diamond planet’ due to its carbon-rich composition.
Hubble’s recent view of Neptune shows a dark storm. The dark storm is the fourth mysterious dark vortex captured by Hubble since 1993. The Voyager 2 spacecraft also discovered two dark storms in 1989. Only Hubble’s blue-light sensitivity enables it to follow the dark storms. The storms appear and disappear every four to six years. And Hubble is now able to study the dark vortex on Neptune.
The interior of Uranus is similar to that of its sister planet Neptune. Both have a solid surface and a rocky core but unlike Saturn and Jupiter the pressure is never high enough to change molecular hydrogen into metallic hydrogen. Instead a thick mantle of icy water and ammonia forms about 20000 km below the surface. These layers of material which make up Uranus’ atmosphere are responsible for its icy color.
The first person to discover Uranus is William Herschel who tried to name the planet Georgium Sidus after King George III. However Uranus was named after the Greek god of the sky. In 1850 the name was accepted worldwide and became a common name for the planet. However Uranus’s name has been mispronounced several times. The name is now universal in honor of the man who discovered it William Herschel.
Uranus is unusually tipped over almost on its side allowing the sun to shine directly on the north pole. This extreme tilt causes the polar-cap region of Uranus to grow increasingly pronounced as summer approaches. It is believed that the polar hood may have formed as atmospheric flow shifted with seasons. This is just one theory but it does provide some insight into the formation of the polar hood.
The solid surface of Earth is comprised primarily of iron oxygen silicon magnesium calcium and aluminum. Other elements make up just a small percentage of the surface. Earth’s atmosphere consists mainly of oxygen and nitrogen gas. The earth’s land is made mostly of rocks and dirt. Land is difficult to travel over. Ice forms at the bottom of the ocean. At the bottom of the ocean is the Mariana Trench which is 11022 meters below sea level.
The upper layer of solid land is the lithosphere. This layer has rigid mechanical properties and extends from five to 70 kilometers below the surface. The earth’s crust is divided into two parts: the oceanic and continental lithosphere. Neither of these parts are homogeneous. This makes it impossible for life to develop on either part of the planet. Nonetheless Earth’s solid surface is a significant feature.
The outer sheath of the Earth is composed of many layers. Land is made up of several segments called tectonic plates that are in constant motion relative to each other. This motion explains many natural phenomena such as volcanoes earthquakes and mountain formation. Approximately seventy percent of the planet is ocean. Throughout the ocean are land masses. Islands and continents exist on the land masses. If you’re wondering whether or not the Earth has a solid surface there’s plenty of evidence for it.
While a moon may have a solid surface the fact that the planet has such a solid surface is still a mystery. Ganymede has two distinct types of terrain: the bright areas and the darker ones. The bright regions have ridges and grooves suggesting that the crust has been under stress from global tectonic processes. Juno the spacecraft that is currently orbiting Ganymede will be able to get a closer look at its surface during flybys in June 2021.
In 1998 NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope caught an image of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede in ultraviolet light. The images revealed streaks that appeared similar to Earth’s auroras. The streaks were thought to be traces of oxygen. The presence of oxygen on the moon however remained a mystery to scientists until they were able to confirm the findings. The discovery led to more research.
It is currently thought that the magnetic field of Ganymede is created by a metallic iron core. A thin layer of rock surrounds the core and creates the magnetic field that is responsible for the moon’s magnetic fields. As the largest moon in our solar system Ganymede is larger than Mercury and dwarf planet Pluto. This means that it may have several layers of oceans under its surface. Scientists are also exploring the possibility that Ganymede may have an interior ocean.
Scientists have long wondered if Enceladus has a solid surface but new Cassini data indicate that it is almost entirely made up of water ice. The icy moon is about 150 miles across and possesses a density of 1.61 g/cm3. This is higher than other Saturnian mid-sized moons and it contains more silicates and iron than any of them.
Its surface is 99% reflective of the Sun’s light compared to 65% for bright Venus. It has a tiger-striped indentation on one side and craters that look older than its ice-covered surface. There are cryovolcanoes near the south pole of the moon that spew water ice and scientists have concluded that these geological features are the source of water ice on Enceladus.
Enceladus has a tidal mechanism similar to Jupiter’s moon Io which keeps it warm. The moon’s surface is also reflective of sunlight but this does not cause its atmosphere to heat up. The tidal force of Saturn may be the main cause of Enceladus’ internal heat engine. Although the exact mechanism is unknown scientists believe that the tidal friction from Saturn is probably the main contributor to the heat generated by Enceladus.
Cassini discovered organic molecules in water jets near Enceladus’ south pole. The water jets may be coming from an ocean beneath the ice covering the moon. This ocean may also contain alien life forms. Although it’s still early to say the repaving process on Enceladus is similar to what happens in Yellowstone Park. These two new discoveries are compelling evidence that Enceladus might harbor alien life.
The south pole of Saturn has a warm spot 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the planet. This is evidence that Saturn is hollow and has an inner sun. Scientists are not accounting for the hollow nature of planets. A hot spot at the poles would lead to an aurora and warm air. Scientists also have confirmed that Saturn has a south polar opening. However they are unsure how to explain this unusual phenomenon.
A floating colony on Saturn would not be practical because of the lack of a surface and the high escape velocity. This would make it impossible for humans to live on a surface that is too deep for human life. Humans can live on the upper atmosphere of Saturn a planet with altitudes similar to Earth. Nevertheless their survival would depend on their ability to withstand the high levels of radiation. For this reason human life on Saturn will probably be a long way off.
In the case of Titan NASA’s Cassini spacecraft detected electrons coming from the south pole of Saturn. Some scientists believe that these clouds are caused by a feature on the planet’s surface which may be a source of moisture. As such they suggest that the bright clouds are lighted from beneath. It is not yet known if Saturn’s atmosphere is liquid or solid. In addition to its gravity Titan’s surface is very thin making it difficult to observe the aurora.