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The Helium Rains of Jupiter

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the gonna-wash-that-helium-right-out-of-the-air dept.

Space 4

coondoggie writes "In the strange and mysterious world of Jupiter, scientists were looking for an explanation for why the massive orb's atmosphere contained little neon, a common gas found on many planets. Now researching say they have found solved the mystery: Helium rain. In the interior of Jupiter conditions are so strange that, according to predictions by University of California, Berkeley scientists, helium condenses into droplets and falls like rain. On Jupiter the scientists explain the only way neon could be removed from the upper atmosphere is to have it fall out with helium, since neon and helium mix easily, like alcohol and water."

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4 comments

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Meme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31607148)

Helium raaaaaaaain!

Alcohol? (1)

beowulf01 (843871) | more than 4 years ago | (#31607260)

Which alcohol? As a chemical class, there are many alcohols [wikipedia.org] and not all are miscible with water.

Is it too much to ask for rigorous specificity in a science article?

oh wait...for this crowd there is only ONE kind of alcohol....

Exotic carbon chemistry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31619404)

So there is another place in the solar system besides Earth and Titan where liquid phase exists in nature. Is there any chance of exotic carbon chemistry in this mixture?

Re:Exotic carbon chemistry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31632216)

Well strictly speaking it's not really "liquid", it's better described as "fluid" since it's above the pressure at which the distinction between "liquid" and "gas" ceases to exist. And there's no shortage of "fluid" within the solar system, since it accounts for the vast majority of both Jupiter and Saturn.

Unfortunately no, there's no chance of any exotic carbon chemistry at these sorts of temperatures, since the conditions are too extreme (5000K, 2 million atmospheres) to allow even simple molecules to exist.

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