Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Physics, Astronomy & Cosmology => Topic started by: Jim on 24/12/2008 16:01:48

Title: Would I sink into Jupiter?
Post by: Jim on 24/12/2008 16:01:48
Jim asked the Naked Scientists:

I've heard before that gas giants have no true surface.   If you were visit one, would you sink in to the core, or would the mass on the "surface" allow you to penetrate but only so far?

What do you think?
Title: Would I sink into Jupiter?
Post by: Kryptid on 24/12/2008 17:43:27
Assuming that you somehow found a way to survive the high temperatures and pressures deep inside of Jupiter, I doubt that you would sink all the way into the center of the core. Jupiter's core is thought (by some at least) to be made of molten rock. Almost all known forms of rock are denser than water. Most are much denser. Since the human body is more or less the density of water (or possibly less taking body fat into consideration), you would be buoyant in the core. Higher up, you'd be in a layer of hot, liquid metallic hydrogen. I'm not sure of its density, although I think I saw one figure of it being more dense than water. You might float in that layer, too.

So I figure that you'd sink until you met this layer. There's probably a fuzzy, not-well-defined border between the liquid metallic hydrogen layer and the higher-up layer of liquid hydrogen. You'd probably be caught between these two layers, as standard liquid hydrogen is much less dense than water. Under pressure, its density may be higher than on Earth, but probably not that much more. Liquids tend to resist compression.
Title: Would I sink into Jupiter?
Post by: Mr. Scientist on 24/12/2008 20:09:10
Jim asked the Naked Scientists:

I've heard before that gas giants have no true surface.   If you were visit one, would you sink in to the core, or would the mass on the "surface" allow you to penetrate but only so far?

What do you think?

Well, i have always believed they surely can't be total gas balls. They do have a mass, nd the density of these gases are very high, acting in a state of matter not recognised by the traditional four: Those being matter, gas, liquid and solid, for it would be a cross of liquid and a solid. This is an example of a possible dense cloud of gas. If you stood on one then, it certainly would be dense enough not for you to sink all the way through.
Title: Hear the answer to this question on our show
Post by: thedoc on 02/06/2015 17:54:10
We discussed this question on our  show

Click to visit the show page for the podcast in which this question is answered. (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/index.php?id=655&tx_nakscishow_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=1001072&cHash=172359ab5f) Alternatively,