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Author Topic: Is there a maximum size for terrestrial planets?  (Read 1769 times)

Offline fanofpi

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Is there a maximum size for terrestrial planets?
« on: 05/05/2010 14:30:04 »
Jane Huckins  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Listening to the newbielink:http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/astronomy/ [nonactive] podcast, another listener's question about rings around terrestrial planets made me think of the following question.

I'm curious to know if there is a maximum size a terrestrial planet can be.

Certainly in our solar system, the giant planets are all gas.

Is this a reflection of some physics principle of which I am woefully ignorant?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 05/05/2010 14:30:04 by _system »


 

Offline syhprum

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Is there a maximum size for terrestrial planets?
« Reply #1 on: 05/05/2010 19:44:16 »
The concensus of opinion seems to be that after a rocky planet accumulates more than 14 Earth masses the escape velocity becomes sufficiently high for it to rapidly accumulate Hydrogen and helium and transform into as gas giant. 
 

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Is there a maximum size for terrestrial planets?
« Reply #1 on: 05/05/2010 19:44:16 »

 

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