• Question: What is the commonest element in the planet Jupiter?

    Asked by sodiumpolyacrylate to David, James, Mike, Suze, Will on 18 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Suze Kundu

      Suze Kundu answered on 18 Jun 2011:

      Hello again SPA 🙂

      I’ve had a Google, and it’s apparently liquid metallic hydrogen. So, not liquid hydrogen as we know it. It’s in a different ‘phase’, or form that depends on the pressure and temperature (like ice, water and steam are different phases of water).

      On Jupiter, this hydrogen is liquid metallic hydrogen, a bit like the inside of the sun, but at a much lower temperature.

    • Photo: William Eborall

      William Eborall answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      That makes the mind boggle. So it’s classed as a gas giant Suze although most of it isn’t in the gaseous phase?

    • Photo: James Marrow

      James Marrow answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      Not much I can add to this, but that it’s the huge mass of Jupiter that gives it enough gravity to create the pressure that forces the hydrogen into this state.