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Is Jupiter Dissolving Its Rocky Core?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the told-you-not-to-drink-all-that-soda-pop dept.

Space 181

sciencehabit writes "Jupiter is the victim of its own success. Sophisticated new calculations indicate that our solar system's largest planet, which weighs more than twice as much as all of the others put together, has destroyed part of its central core. The culprit is the very hydrogen and helium that made Jupiter a gas giant, when the core's gravity attracted these elements as the planet formed. The finding suggests that the most massive extrasolar planets have no cores at all."

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Is Slashdot Dissolving Its Nerdy Core? (-1, Offtopic)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425552)

Yes. Yes it is.

Ho Hum (1, Interesting)

kodiaktau (2351664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425554)

Interesting thing about that core, on Earth it helps to create stability in our rotation and it also helps to keep our atmosphere in tact - keeping water in so life can continue. Would be interesting to see some kind of drilling or other process to validate the assertion on other planets. Alas our current US government has sought to sink our space program so it will need to wait for another day.

Re:Ho Hum (5, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425654)

Alas our current US government has sought to sink our space program so it will need to wait for another day.

You mean when they cancelled shuttle-derived boondoggle money pits?

That's actually the best way to *increase* the resources available to do real the planetary science you're talking about.

Re:Ho Hum (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426148)

I'm glad to see the shuttle no longer leeching the life out of NASA, but you have to know the cuts go well beyond that. It's not like ditching the shuttle actually freed up more funds for NASA. Bankers need their bonuses far more than we need to do basic science, after all.

Re:Ho Hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426336)

"That's actually the best way to *increase* the resources available to do real the planetary science you're talking about."

Well, let me know when the first spaceship launched by Virgin starts off towards another planet then.

Re:Ho Hum (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426776)

Well, let me know when the first spaceship launched by Virgin starts off towards another planet then.

That toy for the rich is just as much of a silly stunt as NASA's cancelled rockets (only a lot cheaper).

For decades, commercial off-the-shelf rockets have been available to launch serious science payloads throughout the solar system. New commercial ventures are bringing lower-cost versions of the same as we speak. At this point, NASA shouldn't be spending a single dime on launch technology. Any such spending only detracts from their scientific goals.

Re:Ho Hum (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425756)

and it also helps to keep our atmosphere in tact

Id never heard of this, can you explain? I had always understood that to be simply because of gravity. I knew the core was supposed to be the cause of our magnetosphere, but thats it.

Re:Ho Hum (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425854)

The Magnetosphere helps keep solar winds from stripping our atmosphere away from us.

Re:Ho Hum (5, Informative)

John_Booty (149925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425894)

I knew the core was supposed to be the cause of our magnetosphere

That's a large part of the answer right there! The magnetosphere acts as a shield to keep a lot of harmful particles from the solar wind away, things which would work to strip away the atmosphere. Mars is an example of what can happen to planets that lack this. (Obviously, Mars' lower gravity works against it in this regard as well)

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast31jan_1/ [nasa.gov]

Re:Ho Hum (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426062)

OtakuBooty.com [otakubooty.com]: Smart, funny, sexy nerds.

Pick two.

Re:Ho Hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426150)

I submit that "funny, sexy, nerd" is an oxymoron. Smart and funny, or smart and sexy, while rare, are at least logically conceivable.

Re:Ho Hum (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426558)

Then how does Venus, which has almost no magnetic field manage to retain a very dense atmosphere?

Re:Ho Hum (5, Informative)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426728)

Look at the composition.

Venus's atmosphere is very low in certain molecules.
Nitrogen.
Elemental oxygen.
Water vapor
Et al.

What it is high in, are comparatively dense gasses.
Sulfuric acid
Carbon dioxide
Etc.

The solar wind is highly energetic, but is comprised of small atomic mass particles. They lack the kinetic energy to strip away very heavy gasses with strong intermolecular forces. Water, while having strong intermolecular forces, is a very light molecule, and the high energy particles have sufficient energy to break the single covalent bonds that hold it together. This means the cosmic wind rips it apart, and then scours it out into space. Sulfuric acid and cabron dioxide, on the other hand, are very heavy, gravitate deeper into the gravity well, and in the case of co2, have double covalent bonds that are quite powerful. The solar wind doesn't have enough oomph to rip it apart, and the molecules are too heavy to easily blow away.

Mar's armosphere is actually sabotaged by a weak and incomplete magnetic field. It has many small and weak diploles extending from the surface. Under the influence of the solar wind, this actually pinches off large chunks of atmosphere during heavy flares from the sun. This is why mars has such a pronounced atmospheric loss, compared to venus, which doesn't have any discernable mgnetic field at all. If you note, the atmosphere mars does have is comprised of what? Co2.

Re:Ho Hum (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426764)

The heavy carbon dioxide that makes up most of Venus's atmosphere tends to stick around. Though Venus is losing much of its Hydrogen and Helium to the solar winds.

Re:Ho Hum (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426822)

Venus's ionosphere creates an induced magnetosphere. It's not as good as the one we have, but it does enough to keep the entire atmosphere from being blown away.

Re:Ho Hum (4, Informative)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425838)

We know A LOT about the cores of the planets in the solar system from extensive study (including molten, material and other stuff that can be determined from external study). It appears you are talking about examining extrasolar planets. We don't have the capability, and it's doubtful we will, at least in our lifetime. Voyager1 just left the solar system and it's moving at ~35k MPH and it was launched in the 70's, most of the people that designed it are retired or dead and Voyager1 will be dead long before it reaches any other star.

Re:Ho Hum (5, Informative)

boddhisatva (774894) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425856)

What maintains our atmosphere is the magnetic field generated by the liquid mantle rotating around the core. The magnetic field deflects the solar wind which would blow it off. It's thought by some that Mars lost it's atmosphere and surface water when the liquid mantle cooled and solidified. Mars has no magnetic field.

Re:Ho Hum (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426440)

Which brings up the question: Which will happen first? Earth's core cooling to the point where we lose our atmosphere, or the Sun running out of fuel to the point where Earth can no longer sustain life (as we like it)?

Re:Ho Hum (2)

JATMON (995758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426670)

Which brings up the question: Which will happen first? Earth's core cooling to the point where we lose our atmosphere, or the Sun running out of fuel to the point where Earth can no longer sustain life (as we like it)?

The correct answer is neither. Both of those are billions of years in the future. You forgot about a more immediate threat to the planet. Unless something drastic happens, the Human race will have made the earth devoid of life long before that. And even if we don't f' the planet up beyond all fixing, it wont matter because humans will either be extinct or will have colonized the galaxy by then.

Elementary how to fix it (4, Funny)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426848)

We'll send special ships to the center of the earth with large hydrogen bombs that will restart the rotation of the core itself.

This is all documented here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Core [wikipedia.org]

Re:Ho Hum (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425892)

Yo fool.
Don't you realise there are wars to be paid for? Why on earth waste money on scientific research to benefit all humans when we can spend it killing a few?

Re:Ho Hum (0, Offtopic)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426258)

It's not just wars that we need to pay for; we also need to give giant no-strings-attached bailouts to mismanaged "too big to fail" financial companies so they can screw around with our economy with impunity, and not worry about any government regulators telling them how to do anything.

Also, don't forget the all-important War on Drugs that we need to pay for, so that we can send millions of non-violent people to privately-owned prisons and increase the profit margins of corporations like Wackenhut and CCA.

Re:Ho Hum (0)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426742)

"too big to fail" financial companies was so last term. The new fashionable bailout target is "green companies".

Re:Ho Hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426736)

Wars are good. They are the quickest form of population control. They also have a lot of science value also. How else are we going to test all the latest weapons technologies that our scientists and engineers have created.

God damn, you're an idiot. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425976)

First, the word you are looking for is "intact". Not "in tact".

Second, the US manned program is dead while we sink money into new designs that will probably not fly. Our UNmanned program is doing fairly well, with lots of unmanned missions to the inner and outer solar system, and asteroids.

First CORE! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425560)

Applecore? Baltimore! Bite that apple to the core!

Diamonds are Forever (1)

djl4570 (801529) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425568)

Hey, it has to have a core. Diamonds are forever.

Re:Diamonds are Forever (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425680)

That is actually a misnomer. Diamons, like everything else, decays given enough time. Entropy wins.

Re:Diamonds are Forever (5, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425986)

Clearly DeBeers needs to hire you to lead their next ad campaign, "Diamonds are quite long-lasting relative to other materials, though they will eventually decay".

Re:Diamonds are Forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426162)

Entropy, bitches.

Re:Diamonds are Forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426474)

Bitches meme, bitches.

(one that many of us loathe very very much.)

Re:Diamonds are Forever (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426756)

I propose "Diamonds may not last forever, but it is likely it will last longer than your relationship to the person you are giving one to" be their new slogan.

Re:Diamonds are Forever (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426284)

I'm not so sure about everything decaying over time. I thought everything decayed over time to its most-stable state; once a material was in that state, then theoretically it shouldn't decay any more, right?

The most-stable state for carbon is graphite I believe. So diamonds will eventually decay into pencil lead. But once they've turned into graphite, I don't think they'll decay any more.

Re:Diamonds are Forever (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426618)

In a long time, it will decay into iron.

Unless the Big Rip comes earlier, then it will be no more.

Re:Diamonds are Forever (5, Informative)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426750)

To expand this a little -

Through fusion, lighter elements like hydrogen and lithium may be combined (nuclear). This process will provide a net energy output up to "iron."

Through fission, heavier elements may be disassociated (nuclear). This process will provide net energy output down to "iron."

When all you have left is iron, making something else via nuclear methods requires the addition of energy. Thus, "everything decays to iron" represents a lowest energy state from a nuclear perspective. But don't worry, the heat death of the universe [wikipedia.org] won't happen for a long while.

Yeah get rid of that old core (3, Funny)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425602)

get at least a quad core... time for an upgrade haha :)

Monoliths (4, Funny)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425612)

Just need to toss in several hundred thousand black monoliths, and we'll have a new star in the firmament.

Weight? (1, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425630)

"which weighs more than twice as much as all of the others put together"
I wonder if this guess is still correct. I would assume this weight was appropriated by assuming the planet had a solid core?

Re:Weight? (4, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425678)

Dissolving a solid into a liquid doesn't change it's mass.

Re:Weight? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425988)

Yeah, but it does wonders for it's weight.

Also, you can't really use the term "weight" for a planetary core. Since the core is at the center of gravity, it has no weight whatsoever. Well, except for towards the Sun, I suppose. Not sure if TFS would be correct or not about the weight in that respect.

Re:Weight? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426106)

The weight around the sun is still zero because of it's motion. An astronaut on the ISS stanning on a scale will show zero. If Jupiter stopped in it's orbit, now you have weight.

Re:Weight? (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426236)

Besides that, assuming Earth was the reference is it possible for something to be twice the weight of all other planets on Earth?

Re:Weight? (-1, Flamebait)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426310)

They really should be using the term "mass" instead of weight, since mass is the same no matter what gravitational field you're in. The problem is stupid American readers don't know what "mass" is (or they think it has something to do with Catholics or bodily tumors), so they have to substitute the term "weight", knowing that readers who actually have some science education should be infer to understand what they really mean.

Re:Weight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426852)

You and the original OP need are idiots. Please castrate yourself so as not t infect the already polluted genepool.

Re:Weight? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425744)

You do realize that liquid rock has the exact same mass as solid, right? They aren't saying that this bodies never had cores but rather that the solid core was eroded.

Re:Weight? (5, Funny)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425788)

Next thing you'll tell me is that a pound of feathers weighs as much of a pound of bricks!

Re:Weight? (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425922)

I don't know about bricks and feathers, but a pound of sand weighs more than a pound of gold, even though an ounce of sand weighs less than an ounce of gold. Stupid customary units.

Re:Weight? (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426212)

That is totally not what I meant by "go pound sand."

Re:Weight? (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426398)

Go (get a) pound (of) sand?

Re:Weight? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426120)

You do realize that liquid rock has the exact same mass as solid, right?

That's mostly correct, but as heat is a form of energy and E=mc^2, a rock changed into liquid state would mean that it weighs oh-so-slightly more. For some napkin calculations: the specific heat of iron (at 273 K) is 0.45 J/(K g) meaning that if we had a thousand tons of iron (1E9 g) and increased the temperature 1000 K then the increase of mass would be: 0.45*1E9*1000/(3E8)^2 = 5E-3 g. All that mass and energy for a full 5 milligrams, which is why it's mostly negligible

Disclaimer: I know that the specific heat changes (quite a bit) with temperature but I wanted to keep the example simple.

Re:Weight? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426642)

Did not read the original article, but I would assume that it likely changed it density as well.
Meaning that lots of liquid core could have been pushed to the surface making the planet appear bigger and more massive from the outside.

Re:Weight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425750)

I would assume that the weight calculations would be made based on the weak gravitational pull upon Jupiter's own moons, as well as the slight pull of Jupiter on other planets, comets and asteroids which have orbits that bring each other closer together and in turn slightly alter trajectories or relative speeds of motion rather than the tried and true "rats do it just like us" observation.

Re:Weight? (5, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425754)

No. It is estimated by the orbits of it's satellites, using Kepler's laws. If you know the period, eccentricity, and size of a satellite's orbit, you can work out the mass of the object that the satellite is orbitting. It has nothing to do with how much of that object is solid.

Re:Weight? (1)

aintnostranger (1811098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426494)

No. What's estimated is mass. not weight.

Re:Weight? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425912)

Nope.

We "weigh" planets by observing the gravitational force acting on a space craft (whose mass we know) we send close to them. Or by measuring the mass of something else (say by observing a space craft near it) and then observing how it interacts gravitationaly with the planet in question.

You can also do some math with pulsar timings to see periodic errors due to the barycenter of the solar system not being exactly where you thought - which will also give you the planetary masses (well the planet plus the moons,etc). But I only saw a paper on it I didn't understand it or anything crazy like that.

Re:Weight? (1)

ILMTitan (1345975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426232)

Unless it is big enough to deflect the planet it is orbiting (Pluto/Chiron), the mass of the satellite does not matter. All that matter is the particulars of its orbit.

Re:Weight? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426174)

weight is really easy to figure out, or what I'm assuming you're talking about, mass, since it produces the easily observable effect of gravity

Remember that "weight" is the effect of gravitational attraction between separate bodies that possess mass. You can't talk about "weight" unless you're referring to at least two objects. (usually with great differences in mass, such as a planet and an object on said planet)

Planet or corporation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425642)

It's been known for a long time most giant corporations are hollow at their core.

did it ever have a core? (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425674)

As far as I know, that question was still open to at least some debate. It's hypothesized that there should be a solid core based on the mineral composition and some simulations, but I don't believe there's any direct evidence of it, at least until the mission (mentioned in the article) to measure its gravitational field with an orbiting probe reaches it.

Re:did it ever have a core? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425776)

As far as I know, that question was still open to at least some debate. It's hypothesized that there should be a solid core based on the mineral composition and some simulations, but I don't believe there's any direct evidence of it, at least until the mission (mentioned in the article) to measure its gravitational field with an orbiting probe reaches it.

Wouldn't that apply to Earth's core as well? I mean, as far as I'm aware no one has ever drilled all the way to the center of the planet, so what evidence (beyond hypothesis) is there that Earth's core is what we think it is?

Re:did it ever have a core? (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425820)

There's some evidence beyond only mineral composition for the earth's core, mostly from seismic data; the discontinuities observed in seismic wave travel put constraints on what has to be the case at different layers. At least, it's more data than we have about the interior of Jupiter, which afaik is entirely based on mineral composition and modeling.

Re:did it ever have a core? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426260)

There's some evidence beyond only mineral composition for the earth's core, mostly from seismic data; the discontinuities observed in seismic wave travel put constraints on what has to be the case at different layers. At least, it's more data than we have about the interior of Jupiter, which afaik is entirely based on mineral composition and modeling.

Some data comes from detailed magnetic field monitoring, makes sense since it seems to be the cause of the earths magnetic field.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_core#Dynamics [wikipedia.org]

Re:did it ever have a core? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426234)

two words - remote sensing.
ther are ways to measure stuff wihtout actualy needing to have a piece of it in your hand.

Re:did it ever have a core? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426338)

They have "drilled down" to the Earth's core with sound waves. They use seismic charges to bounce sound waves off the core.

Re:did it ever have a core? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426844)

You could have googled for the answer instead of displaying your foolishness here but now you just look like a total loser.

Weight vs Mass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425694)

Come on Slashdot, we're supposed to be more science-oriented than average. Weight doesn't make sense for a planet, since you have no well-defined gravity reference. It would have twice as much mass as the others put together. I am disappointed.

Re:Weight vs Mass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425724)

Sure it does, there's this nice reference object at the center of the solar system.

Which weighs twice as much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425704)

I think you mean has twice the mass.

core is icey hot? (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425796)

...central core made of iron, rock, and ice. .... The temperature there is approximately 16,000 kelvin—hotter than the surface of our sun....

Okay, maybe ice means something else on Jupiter. Can someone explain how Jupiter's core can have ice that doesn't melt?

Re:core is icey hot? (3, Informative)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425896)

Ice doesn't mean cold water. Ice is solid water. Water is liquid, solid, or gass depending on temperature and pressure. There is alot of pressure at the core of Jupiter.

Re:core is icey hot? (1, Funny)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426068)

There is alot of pressure at the core of Jupiter.

That's nothing compared to being the core of Saturn. You scrub and scrub and scrub and nothing gets rid of those rings, and then Neptune comes home and wants his dinner and doesn't understand that you've been working hard all day. 'Get me a beer!' he hollers as he plops his ass down into the big comfy chair and starts watching Wheel of Fortune.

I tell 'ya, being the core of a planet ain't all wine and roses, I tell 'ya.

Re:core is icey hot? (3, Interesting)

polymeris (902231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425994)

High pressure from all that mass, possibly? [wikimedia.org] Just speculating here.

Re:core is icey hot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426112)

You beat me. I was looking for that chart. It's pretty clear that above 1 million atmospheres (the 100GPa line), water is going to be usually solid. The article lists the core pressures of Jupiter at about 40 million atmospheres, a little into the 'consistently Ice 11' part of the chart. The chart doesn't go far enough in temperature to show exactly what state to expect at 16000K, but from the slopes in the first 750K (shown) it looks like it'll either be clearly ice at that pressure or near another melting line.

Re:core is icey hot? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426014)

...central core made of iron, rock, and ice. .... The temperature there is approximately 16,000 kelvin—hotter than the surface of our sun....

Okay, maybe ice means something else on Jupiter. Can someone explain how Jupiter's core can have ice that doesn't melt?

Pressure.

Who gives a flying fuck? (-1, Troll)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425798)

Really, what does it matter whether Jupiter's core is solid, liquid, or a Bose-Einstein condensate? We can't do anything about it, we can't get there, we can't use it.

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425840)

You could just repost a version of that objection for almost any piece of science research without immediate applications...

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426426)

Exactly. And what good is a newborn baby? Completely useless.

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (-1, Troll)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426602)

Bullshit. This has neither "immediate" applications or any in any kind of foreseeable future. I am not a luddite, however this is truly a case of who gives a fuck.

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (1)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425878)

So nothing that cannot be immediately used to make money is of any interest then?

Rgds

Damon

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (0)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426614)

So nothing that cannot be immediately used to make money is of any interest then?

Rgds

Damon

No, but there is a limit to what matters to the lives of 99.9999999999% of the people on Earth.

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (1)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426760)

So no one should do a PhD to become the world authority on a subject then? No one should try anything new (let's say, for example, a certain chap's musings on the photoelectric effect or relativity)? And by your numbers even spending 0.001 of a single person's time on something not directly productive should be stopped. So let's ban all art and sports (when you've finished off all pure science research), since I have no time for them. And cooking beyond the purely functional, and interior decoration, and sex beyond that strictly necessary for replacement rate childbirth.

And you please certainly stop spending time on /. right now and spare us your narrow-mindedness. Or at least don't post if you have nothing useful to say.

Please accept that just because *you* are not interested does not automatically rob something of value.

(Note that this is not a particular hot topic for me, but it's certainly interesting and I can see a number of intriguing lines of thought running from it, some of which, BTW, may spur practical results.)

Rgds

Damon

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426786)

No, but there is a limit to what matters to the lives of 99.9999999999% of the people on Earth.

Yes, but what about that other .007 person?

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425902)

Because this is /.

It's information, therefore it must be known to us. I think you'll find OMG! [yahoo.com] much more to your liking.

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425938)

Who cares about how many galaxies there are in the Universe? We can't do anything about it, we can't get there, we can't use it.

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425992)

Because a greater understanding of physics allows you to have neat and interesting toys such as computers... (the space race is credited with the invention of the microprocessor)

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426680)

wars do a lot to further technology. would we have done the research and built the early computers if there were no pesky german codes to break?

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426016)

Your mom!

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (1)

Deflatamouse (37653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426072)

Ummm, we got there. Voyager 1 and 2? Galileo? No we didn't get into the core, but we can send spacecrafts there just fine.

If we know for certain that there is no rocky core, then it would be pointless to build probes to try to reach/hit the core eh?

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (0)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426644)

Ummm, we got there. Voyager 1 and 2? Galileo? No we didn't get into the core, but we can send spacecrafts there just fine.

If we know for certain that there is no rocky core, then it would be pointless to build probes to try to reach/hit the core eh?

We didn't get anywhere NEAR there (relatively speaking). Yes, we went beyond there, but they would have been vaporized long before they could get "reasonably" close. There is no fucking way we are getting ANYTHING to reach/hit the core.

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426716)

Well, "we" didn't get there. "We" haven't gone beyond the far end of a low moon orbit a very few times. And we haven't extended our reach in over 40 years. Spacecraft that we built have gone farther. It seems a distinction worth making to me; maybe it's silly. When man ceases to explore in person, and that day may have arrived permanently, he will be something different, in my mind.

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (0)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426814)

And if we knew there was a rocky core, it would still be pointless to build probes to try to reach/hit the core.

Re:Who gives a flying fuck? (-1, Troll)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426654)

Troll? Really? Give me a fucking break. It truly does not matter.

rescue mission to the core? (2)

miserere nobis (1332335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425962)

Oh no! We better drill a hole to the center of Jupiter and explode a nuclear bomb to fix it, because that makes sense!

Core disappears == core stops spinning? (0)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426054)

The move "The Core" has ruined me for any article mentioning planetary cores. :-(

It wasn't us! (2)

eyenot (102141) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426086)

âZ"We're pretty sure it has nothing to do with our decision to smash a huge plutonium powered space probe into it or with the resulting huge purple 'second spot' caused by the resulting plume, which was so large it was visible to backyard telescopes and in general was a sort of shocking embarrassment to NASA when it occured."

"No, this disintegration now suddenly occuring just a few years after that incident has nothing to do with us. Jupiter was in the middle of killing itself, anyways. It was only a matter of time before this happen."

"JUPITER WAS ASKING FOR IT, I SWEARS T'YA!"

Aliens or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426090)

Termites! Run for your lives!!!

Planetary cores on gas giants (1)

boddhisatva (774894) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426104)

Late in the formation of the solar system it was filled with objects colliding, merging, being blasted apart, etc. The gas giants were rotating around the sun faster. Saturn at one time may have circled at exactly 1/2 the rate of Jupiter. When they came around together, their combined gravity perturbed the orbits of Uranus and Neptune, which are not where they should and may have switched places as #7 & #8. The giants slowed as the result of collisions with and absorbtion of, lots of asteroid type material still bouncing around. Something hit Uranus hard enough to knock it on it's side where it now rotates as opposed to all the other planets. The gas giants may not have rocky cores from birth but a lot of rocky material has dropped in since. We watched a comet plunge into Jupiter just a few years ago. Just another drop in the bucket, but it builds up over time.

Yo Momma Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426274)

Yo momma so fat, her core dissolved!

Silica? (1)

Convector (897502) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426616)

What happens to the silica? From my skimming of TFA, it appears that the experiment only involves the dissolution of the MgO component. There should still be gobs of MgSiO3 (or at the very least SiO2, if the MgSiO3 breaks down into its constituent oxides at the high pressures) hanging around down there.

It's official (4, Funny)

ravenscar (1662985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38426818)

Jupiter is no longer hard core.

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