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Conceptual Questions


Why are Jupiter and Saturn flattened?

Suppose there were a narrow belt near Jupiter's equator that had a rotation period of 9h45m. In which direction would the zonal winds blow in that belt relative to the rest of the equatorial region?

Why are oxygen compounds such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide extremely low in abundance in the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn?

How do the pressure and temperature in the visible layers of the atmosphere of Jupiter compare with those at the surface of the Earth?

The large sizes and rapid rotations of Jupiter and Saturn result in very large Coriolis effects in their atmospheres. How are the large Coriolis effects on Jupiter and Saturn related to the appearance of their cloud features?

What evidence do we have that the Great Red Spot of Jupiter is a high-pressure region with outflowing gas?

What is the relationship among color, temperature, and height for the atmospheric features of Jupiter and Saturn?

Why are there at least three separate cloud decks on Jupiter?

Why do the deepest parts of Jupiter's atmosphere that we can see have a bluish color?

What form does hydrogen take in Jupiter from the surface to the center of the planet?

What evidence do we have that Jupiter and Saturn must be made of more than hydrogen and helium alone?

What would happen to the temperature at the Earth's surface if the Sun stopped shining? How about the atmosphere of Jupiter?

About 60% of the energy radiated away by Jupiter comes from its interior. What is the origin of that excess energy? What about the case of Saturn?

How do the size and shape of Jupiter's magnetosphere compare with that of the Earth?

Why are Saturn's rings conspicuous at times and very difficult to see at other times?

What evidence do we have that Saturn's rings aren't solid disks?

What did Voyager tell us about Saturn's rings that wasn't already known from telescopic observations from the Earth?

What is thought to be the nature of the spokes seen in Saturn's rings?

What happens to an asteroid that passes within the Roche distance of a planet?

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