Talk:Giant planet

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modified paragraph[edit]

I modified this paragraph beyond recognition:

Many of the extrasolar planets which have been discovered have masses of several times Jupiter's mass, and on the basis of this it has been suggested that these may be gas giants. However, it is important to note that the detection techniques that have been used to identify extrasolar planets so far (detecting doppler shift in the star's spectrum due to the wobble induced by the planet's orbit) are much more adept at detecting giant planets than smaller ones and therefore this sample may be biased. In addition, with a few exceptions, the actual composition and structure of extrasolar planets have not been observed and many of the extrasolar planets are much closer to their parent stars and hence much hotter than gas giants in the solar system, making it possible that some of those planets are a type not observed in the solar system.

I think the new version is better, but ymmv. Mark Foskey

This article could be clearer about the difference between gas giants and brown dwarves. The latter article says: "Density is a clear giveaway. Brown dwarfs are all about the same radius and volume; so anything that size with over 10 Jupiter masses is unlikely to be a planet" while this article says gas giants are planets and can exist up to ~70 Jupiter masses. Horatio 12:09, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Merge with Sudarsky classification system[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

no merge

I created the Sudarsky classification system article, however on reflection I feel that giving it an entire article gives too much weight to a theoretical classification system for which very little observational data exists to back it up. Also, the existence of the article seems to be giving the impression that Extrasolar Visions-style speculations should be applied to every extrasolar system in existence. I feel that this system of predicting the appearance of extrasolar gas giant planets would be better as a subsection of this article. Chaos syndrome 22:53, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

  • OBJECT I don't think Sudarsky is prevalent enough to merge into here, besides, it'd clutter the article alot. Zzzzzzzzzzz 03:02, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

There seem to be a lot of objection responses to this one, I'll retract the merger suggestion. Chaos syndrome 10:53, 26 January 2006 (UTC)


The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Liquid Helium???[edit]

The article has gotten long and I do not want to jump in while it is changing in so many places, but I feel that this statement: "the name is defensible because their compositions are dominated by hydrogen and helium, which are gases in the outer solar system when not under pressure." is misleading. Helium will be in gaseous state anywhere in these planets, I believe, because it has to be cooled so much to liquefy. I also thought hydrogen could be in a metalllic state in Jupiter (helping explain the magnetic field). So I think "gas giants" refers mainly to the paucity of rock. Carrionluggage 17:43, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi, I created that sentence, but I was just copyediting for clarity and have no scientific background, so if you think it's wrong you should change it. The Singing Badger 18:34, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

OK - I fixed it so it is correct, but the section is much too long now and refers to "misnomer" or a synonymous phraseology twice. It might have been OK as it was before - do not know why S.B. changed it. By the way, I linked in a page that briefly discusses "critical point" because the Wikipedia page Phases_of_matter containing critical phenomena is quite verbose, with too much in it, and the phase diagram showing a critical point is way down the page.Carrionluggage 04:53, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Mass gap?[edit]

"Interestingly there appears to be a mass gap between the heaviest gas giant planets detected (about 10 times the mass of Jupiter) and the lightest red dwarfs." - is there? The missing objects would presumably be brown dwarfs, of which we now know a fair few. And there doesn't seem to be much of a gap between the brown dwarfs and large planets either - OTS 44 and Cha 110913-773444 seem to bridge the gap between planets and brown dwarfs. Am I missing something or is the article statement now outdated? Chaos syndrome 22:44, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Floating cities[edit]

I wonder who put the "floating cities" in the "See also"--Spaceman 09:23, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

To scale or not to scale?[edit]

There are two pictures in the article, one "to scale" the other "not to scale". Yet both have pretty much the same relative sizes of the 4 planets. Maybe they are both "to scale"?--345Kai 22:09, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Moons[edit]

I noticed there is a small comment about moons in the article, but perhaps we should elaborate. Maybe we should discuss the debris cloud that surrounds the gas giants when they are being formed and how the cloud matter can build moons and rings.

Ice Giant[edit]

The scientific community has adopted the term "ice giant" to describe Uranus and Neptune, since they differ in both composition and evolution from their fellow giant planets Jupiter and Saturn. This term is quickly gaining common usage; a separate article should be established for Ice Giant, preferably written by someone within the astrophysics field, and the link for such should no longer redirect to this page.PJtP 21:58, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

If this article is renamed giant planet, and gas giant and ice giant are broken out as separate articles... 132.205.44.134 22:47, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
This is now under consideration, see #Requested move I -- 70.24.248.23 (talk) 14:44, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Uranus and Neptune[edit]

Is Uranus really the most foul smelling gas giant?Astroman1111 11:52, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes I think so. Or Neptune. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 09:11, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

What causes the atmospheric banding exactly?[edit]

I have ascribed this to tidal force for the time being - rapid rotation does not explain it fully. It makes sense given that Jupiter has extremely turbulent bands (closest to the sun) while Uranus has very weak banding. I do not understand exactly how tidal forces can account for this at the mechanical level, but it seems reasonable. Comment please, and perhaps we can get some citations for it.--ChrisJMoor 00:50, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for trying to improve Wikipedia. Unfortunately, ascribing the banding on Jupiter to tidal forces based on it seeming reasonable is original research. The bands are caused by a combination of the Coriolis force and convection, the same mechanism that produces the jet streams and trade winds on Earth. Neitherday 05:02, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Discovery[edit]

Asking for a bit of info I've never been able to find anywhere: When was Jupiter found to be a gaseous planet? this page was created by marysa--88.149.232.208 22:18, 24 October 2007 (UTC)


Gas planet size[edit]

Technical question: Allowing for variations in gas-mixture composition (ie relative quantities of hydrogen, helium, methane "and all other possible components") what is the smallest size a gas giant could be and be persistant on an astronomical scale? Jackiespeel (talk) 17:16, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean geometrical size, or mass of a planet? Sometimes people say "size", but actually mean mass. Ruslik (talk) 18:36, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
"Either or both" (as can be relevant). Will "proximity to star being orbited" be a factor?
A suitable link would suffice. Jackiespeel (talk) 15:47, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
You need to consider Ruslik's question to find the answer. Neptune, for example, is only about 31 times smaller in diameter, but 16,000 times smaller in volume, and 19,000 times smaller in mass (weight) than the Sun. Also, your question belongs at the answer desk, not on an article's Talk page. David Spector (talk) 13:03, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
BTW, given the atmospheric mass density continuum, how are diameter resp. volume of a gas giant defined? --Mkratz (talk) 02:03, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

The Color Spectrum Seen in the Jovian Planets[edit]

Has anyone ever noticed that the color of the Jovian planets rougly matches the color spectrum: 1. Red - Jupiter is somewhat reddish/orangish/brownish, especially towards the middle. 2. Yellow - Saturn is yellowish/tanish. 3. Green - Uranus is greenish-blue. 4. Blue - Neptune is deep blue.

Augustus Alyosius Amadeus Ambrosius duGracie III (talk) 20:44, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Question[edit]

If you throw a thermonuclear bomb at a gas giant, will it initiate a chain reaction and blow the planet up? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.21.180.234 (talk) 20:55, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

No.
But even if you could get fusion started (with a giant much much much more massive than Jupiter), it would turn into a star, not blow up.
There's a reference desk to ask questions like this. kwami (talk) 20:58, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Ice Giants vs. Gas Giants, Again[edit]

I notice that somebody was pointing out this distinction well over a year ago. It's true -- Uranus and Neptune are not currently regarded within the astronomical community as gas giants. They are ice giants. Only Jupiter and Saturn, among the 8 Solar planets, are true gas giants. The distinction between Jupiter-type planets (gas giants) and Neptune-type planets (ice giants) is regularly made in the literature on extrasolar planets. I see the same two possibilities that were suggested previously: 1. Rename this article "giant planets" and separate it into two sections, one for gas giants and one for ice giants; or 2. Limit this article to true gas giants, and create a new article about ice giants. Option 1 would be easier, but it would also be less scientific, because, as I'm saying, planetary astronomers no longer lump the four Solar System giants into one category. What is the chain of decision-making here?Thuvan Dihn (talk) 23:48, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Two years have now passed since User:PJtP pointed out that Uranus and Neptune are no longer regarded as "gas giant planets." I just did a little research to back up this claim.

    • In an article in the October 1999 issue of Science, Tristan Guillot was already employing the distinction gas giant/ice giant in his discussion of the Solar System's four giant planets (T. Guillot, "Interiors of Giant Planets Inside and Outside the Solar System," Science, 1999: vol. 286, pages 72-76). Jupiter and Saturn are gas giants; Uranus and Neptune are ice giants.
    • A search of the Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System (query form at http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abstract_service.html), using the keyword "gas giant planet" and limited to the years 2007 to 2009, yields 135 results. In all 135 cases, "gas giant planet" refers to Jupiter, Saturn, or an extrasolar planet of comparable or greater mass. "Ice giant planet" refers to Neptune, Uranus, or an extrasolar planet of comparable mass.

Is it important for a scientific article in Wikipedia to conform with current scientific research? If so, Wikipedia's handling of giant planets needs a major overhaul. Thuvan Dihn (talk) 22:24, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

This is now under consideration, see #Requested move I -- 70.24.248.23 (talk) 14:44, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Super??[edit]

Superjovian planet and kin redirects here but the string "super" doesn't occur in the article. I cannot remember exactly where or what, but I think there is a definition (somewhere) of what constitutes a superjovian as opposed to jovian. It should then be noted that the maximum radius (and hence volume) of a superjovian approx equals that of Jupiter, with the exception of hot jupiters, whose atms are heated so that they inflate. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 09:08, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

There was something about superjovians/superplanets/supergiant planets being more massive than the mass of the planet with the largest volume possible for a cold planet (roughly the size and mass of Jupiter) [1][2][3] ... more massive planets being smaller than this most large cold planet. PDF (p126). According to PDF (section4)[4] the limit is 500 M. The calculations are based on the 1969 paper. 64.229.100.61 (talk) 00:02, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Redundancies in the "See Also" section[edit]

I don't know if anybody's noticed, but the first two items in the See Also section link to the exact same place. Specifically, "Appearance of extrasolar planets" and "Sudarsky extrasolar planet classification" both link to "Sudarsky extrasolar planet classification." Since the Sudarsky extrasolar planet classification is simply a way to classify the appearance of extrasolar planets, I would suggest the "Appearance" link be removed. 66.56.63.233 (talk) 11:13, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Should Jovian be capitalized?[edit]

I'm under the impression that "jovian" (lowercase) can refer to any gas planets, while "Jovian" (uppercase) usually refers specifically to Jupiter and its system of moons. Jovian, when used to mention all gas giants, should be lowercase in the article here much in the same way terrestrial, when referring to rocky planets, is lowercase in the same manner. Would I be out of place to edit the article's mentions of the word "jovian" when pertaining to gas giants and not the Jovian system?184.19.49.77 (talk) 06:46, 8 November 2011 (UTC)


Requested move I[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus Arbitrarily0 (talk) 20:22, 21 November 2011 (UTC)


In the last half decade, terminology has shifted, and "gas giant" is now no longer predominant when speaking of giant planets, and are more likely to only refer to the subclass of giant planets known as gas giants (such as Jupiter and Saturn), and the use of ice giants has come into regular usage (planets such as Neptune and Uranus), and these mass classes are also frequently referred to as Jovian and Neptunian, with Jovian no longer predominantly representing all giant planets, but just the gas giant subclass.

Google Scholar (since 2009)

Gas giantGiant planet — In the last half decade, terminology has shifted, and "gas giant" is now no longer predominant when speaking of giant planets, and are more likely to only refer to the subclass of giant planets known as gas giants (such as Jupiter and Saturn), and the use of ice giants has come into regular usage (planets such as Neptune and Uranus), and these mass classes are also frequently referred to as Jovian and Neptunian, with Jovian no longer predominantly representing all giant planets, but just the gas giant subclass.

Google Scholar (since 2009)
70.24.248.23 (talk) 13:56, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
These searches are wrong. The first page of the "giant planet" search has two results including the phrase "gas giant" in the snippets shown. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 07:16, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Since gas giant is a type of giant planet, there would be results with "gas giant" when searching for "giant planet", if they were referring to the specific subtype as well. 70.24.248.23 (talk) 11:26, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Is that what is going on here? ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 16:37, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
It appears to be the case, since the mass regime being investigated is 1-4 Jupiter masses, which are gas giants/Jovians, and not ice giants/Neptunians. 70.24.248.23 (talk) 05:01, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Comment—I'm somewhat on the fence about this one. I'm not sure this change in terminology has become sufficiently predominant to make "giant planet" the primary naming convention. In fact, in a number of cases, I see journal authors combining both terms, per "gas giant planet". Is it possible that the "giant planet" terminology is presently seeing increased usage because astronomers haven't been able to resolve (or spectroscopically analyze) many of the newly discovered exoplanets? That being said, "giant planet" is a logical naming convention that corresponds nicely to "dwarf planet". Regards, RJH (talk) 17:22, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I haven't done a literature search yet on the naming convention. I did ask planet-expert Mike Brown today what he thought (pinged him through twitter). My question was: "What is the current term for big, Jovian-style planets: 'gas giants', 'giant planets', or something else?" He said: "usually 'gas giants', I'd say." Of course, he's just one planet researcher, but I figured I'd start near the top. Another good person to ask might be Geoff Marcy, of exoplanets fame. Of course, it really comes down to how the community uses the term. And which community do we mean? General astronomers, solar system astronomers, exoplanet astronomers, the general public? A way to measure usage in the astronomer community would be to look at recent abstracts for AAS and DPS meetings. My planetary-geologist colleague down the hall just told me that she never hears either term "gas giant" or "giant planet" used. She said it's more common to hear "Jovian planet" or "hot Jupiter" or something like that. Anyway, I'll keep at it and revisit this another time. AstroCog (talk) 20:55, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
    • Reply does she hear "hot Jupiter" also encompassing "hot Neptunes"[5]? Or that "Jovian planet" also encompassing "Neptunian planet"[6]? Ofcourse, did your colleagues interpret your question on "gas giants" as meaning Jupter/Saturn type planets, or Jupter/Saturn/Uranus/Neptune type planets? (Your question to Mike Brown leads to this query... Jovian-style planet meaning Jupiter/Saturn or J/S/U/N? ) 70.24.248.23 (talk) 22:30, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
      • I guess my suggestion would be this: if the scientific literature and other published media has enough support for separate terms such as "Jovian planet" and "Neptunian planet", then why have this discussion? Just break up "gas giant" into several stand-alone articles. If the literature/sources are not substantial enough to support stand-alone articles, keep "gas giant" and use redirects rather than renaming, and have major sections in the article for the separate types. If "gas giant" as a general term is still common usage in the astronomical community, then it will very likely be the same for the general public, who are the readership for WP. Changing the article titles and not first using a redirect system first seems to me to make it harder for general readers to find the content they want. AstroCog (talk) 15:19, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
        • Dividing the article in two with Jovian planet and Neptunian planet is fine by me. As for this discussion, even if we split the article, I think the edit history should be stored with "giant planet", since we'll still need an overview article, and the history of the unified subjects should be with the overview article. 70.24.248.23 (talk) 08:30, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Any additional comments:

This has been pointed out on this talk page since 2007, and WP:ASTRO since 2005. 70.24.248.23 (talk) 13:56, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Ice Giants and "molten ice"[edit]

The following sentence caught my eye: "...Uranus and Neptune which are sometimes called ice giants, as they are mostly composed of water, ammonia, and methane molten ices." What is a "molten ice"? The only other mentions of molten ice I can find on Wikipedia refer to fiction. Ischaldirh (talk) 23:18, 4 March 2012 (UTC)Ischaldirh

Requested move II[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. (non-admin closure) Jenks24 (talk) 07:53, 4 April 2012 (UTC)



Gas giantGas giant planet – According to this CfD "Gas giant" is ambiguous. Armbrust, B.Ed. Let's talkabout my edits? 13:10, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Oppose WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 12:23, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Ice giants as subset of gas giants[edit]

From the Neptune article, which is currently a featured article. Astronomers sometimes categorise Uranus and Neptune as "ice giants" in order to emphasise these distinctions.[13] Neptune and Uranus are often considered a sub-class of gas giant termed "ice giants", due to their smaller size and higher concentrations of volatiles relative to Jupiter and Saturn.[44] Note these sources do not exclude Neptune from the category of gas giant, although they suggest that ice giant as a sub-category.Limefrost Spiral (talk) 01:02, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

The term is evolving and I can see it both ways. Can we find a wording that leaves it somewhat open? Definitions for a planet, dwarf planet, meteoroid, or gas giant should have some wiggle room. -- Kheider (talk) 01:30, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
More fuzziness. Are super-Earths really mini-Neptunes? (Royal Astronomical Society 04 February 2013) -- Kheider (talk) 22:51, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Requested move III[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved  Philg88 talk 09:28, 12 December 2014 (UTC)



Gas giantGiant planet – The ice giants Uranus and Neptune are often distinguished from the gas giants proper Jupiter and Saturn because of their distinct difference in composition. When they are not, "giant planet" and "gas giant" are simply synonymous. Therefore, the neutral article title is "Giant planet". JorisvS (talk) 12:09, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Support per RM1 and various other comment sections on this talk page for about a decade ; "giant planet" is a better term, as "gas giant" is a subtype of giant planet, as are ice giants. It makes a better logical separation of the topics for this to use the term "giant planet" as it distinctly indicates that there is a subtype called gas giants. -- 67.70.35.44 (talk) 06:14, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
    • Splitting the article in two is also fine by me. The edit history should remain with the "giant planet" article, since that is the history of the article. So, the page should still be moved before splitting it, as it is the general article, not the gas giant subtype article. -- 67.70.35.44 (talk) 04:17, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose there already is a planet based article on Ice giant. Gas Giant is the more commonly known term. The article should be fixed not moved. Gregkaye 12:01, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
    Comment. Then there would still have to be an overarching article, which then be logically located at "giant planet". Would you support such a split? Though note that that overarching article is really currently this article, and that that's the reason I initiated this RM in the first place. --JorisvS (talk) 12:17, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps a positive move might be the creation of a Giant planet article with content based on either of the two existing articles. However as "giant planet" is a comparatively rarely used term, I'd personally suggest that it might be advised for such an article to have comparatively limited content. Other editors may disagree. The important thing is that a logical presentation of information be made. A possible title for a merged article could be Gas and ice giants. There would need to be good justification. Gregkaye 01:44, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
In fact, something like that would be the goal! But because this article is now really about giant planets in general, this article should first be moved to preserve the edit history. Then, the content specifically about gas giants can be split off. Let's see how much would remain in this (moved) article with the specific content split off to a new "gas giant" article. A merged titled like "gas and ice giants" makes no sense, and is not in line with WP:TITLE, specifically that titles should use the singular form (WP:SINGULAR), and that, if a title can sensibly avoid having "and", it should (WP:AND), and possibly conciseness (WP:CONCISE), too. --JorisvS (talk) 11:43, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
The priority for Wikipedia is that it provides good information and, if the best way to do this is to make this move then fair enough. It would be preferable I think to have Gas giant to be a major article on the basis that this is the major term. I have made my vote! as oppose but hope that, if the vote is close that admin ignore this and allow the article to move quickly. I think that it would be as easy to copy content into a new article and keep most content where it is. gregkaye 17:09, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
You could strike through your vote to be sure. I, too, hope that the new gas giant article will grow. --JorisvS (talk) 19:28, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support three separate articles Giant planet, Gas giant and Ice giant along the lines that have been outlined above, with the gas giant article mentioning that Uranus and Neptune used to be lumped together with the gas giants but not anymore. Astredita (talk) 19:54, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.