Scientists initially thought that the center of the gas giant was a ball of hard rock, but new findings cast doubt on that theory.
Surprising findings, astronomers planetIt contradicts what they previously thought about it. Accordingly, instead of a hard ball of rock at the center of the gas giant, there is a “fuzzy” mixture of scattered ice, rock, and metallic liquids.
“To measure vibrations inside Saturn, we use the planet’s rings like a giant seismograph,” said Jim Fuller, a doctoral professor of theoretical astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology and co-author of the new study, titled “Scattered core in Saturn detected by ring seismology,” published in Nature Astronomy. We used it,” he said.
RESEARCHED FOR THE FIRST TIME
“This is the first time we’ve been able to seismically probe the structure of a gas giant planet, and the results were quite surprising,” added Fuller. On the other hand, the idea of studying the interior of the planet using Saturn’s vibrations as a temporary seismograph was put forward in the early 1990s.
Gravitational fluctuations cause the planet’s surface to move about a meter every two hours, like a rippling lake. The rings around Saturn are also affected by these turbulences.
According to the details in the report of Independent Turkish, it was reported that Saturn’s “agitated” interior as a whole consists of many stable layers where heavier materials sink towards the middle of the planet, while lighter materials float upwards.
“For the planet’s gravitational field to vibrate at these specific frequencies, the interior must be stable. This is only possible if the proportion of ice and rock gradually increases as you move towards the center of the planet,” Fuller said.
The study’s lead author and postdoctoral fellow in planetary science, Christopher Mankovich, states that the hydrogen and helium gas at the center of the planet resembles the oceans on Earth, where the salinity increases with depth and forms a stable configuration.
17 FLOOR MASS OF OUR PLANET
These results show that Saturn’s core, consisting only of ice and rock, is 55 times larger than the entire Earth. But it turns out that its mass is only 17 times that of our planet. It’s possible that our solar system’s other gas giant, Jupiter, also has a similar core. This raises new questions about the formation of such bodies.
Current models for the formation of gas giants suggest that rocky cores formed first and then these then attracted large envelopes of gas. But if the planet’s cores are mud-like as the study suggested, the gas could be a much earlier component of the planet formation process.