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View Diary: Have you ever seen another moon in an alien sky? (155 comments)

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  •  Very cool comic. (1+ / 0-)
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    Troubadour

    So Jupiter's not actually a large planet after all.

    "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

    by NWTerriD on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 03:21:41 PM PDT

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    •  Interesting point about planet size: (2+ / 0-)
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      Panbanisha, NWTerriD

      Gas giants that are that massive don't necessarily get bigger when you add mass - gravity presses them smaller up to a point.  They're often bigger because they're young and haven't released their heat of formation yet, or if they're close enough that their star makes them hot and causes them to bloat up and be really diffuse.  

      The prevalence of "hot Jupiters" in the planetary sample confirmed thus far accounts for the large statistical sizes at this point, since they have the biggest effect on their star (hence, easiest to detect indirectly by watching the star).  But just being bigger doesn't make it more substantial - some of these planets are really "weak tea" bags of thin, hot gas.  And some of the ones smaller than Jupiter would rip it to shreds.

      Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

      by Troubadour on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 03:47:03 PM PDT

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