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Question:
What is the current consensus among astronomers of the composition of Jupiter?



Replies:
Anything is possible, but there are 3 reasons why it would be almost impossible:

1) Jupiter's intense gravitation field;

2) Jupiter's very large density; and

3) Jupiter's core is very, very hot!

Hawley


Yes, it is believed Jupiter has a core. In fact, it is thought there are a series of layers of different compositions (a metallic hydrogen layer, for example). The pressures in the atmosphere are so huge, however, that it probably would not be wise to just fly through it. There are some science fiction stories on the subject that give a pretty accurate description though - Arthur Clarke's "meeting with Medusa" I think was one, and there is a story by some Russian that has something about "Amalthea" in the title. Of course they also speculate about strange life forms in the atmosphere which probably do not exist.

A Smith


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