Heat Generation Inside Chthonian Planets

The Earth’s interior is hot – the temperature of the core is roughly the same as the temperature of the solar surface, which is more than 5000 K!

The planets, esp. bigger planets = gas giants, are heated by a process called Kelvin-Helmholtz mechanism. It is known for planets Jupiter and Saturn. Bigger celestial bodies like our Sun radiate also via fusion processes. The chthonian planets keep the heat produced by the mechanism.

Gravitational potential energy of a chthonian planet can be calculated as follows:

One can simply count all the ‘potentials’ from the center of the planet towards the surface R – mass of concentric spheres times mass of concentric shells.

Scientists Kelvin and Helmholtz tried to explain the energy emitted by our Sun via the potential energy in the late 19th century. However, Arthur Eddington showed that the mechanism would allow the Sun to shine only for millions of years. Later, the fusion processes were described.

Thus theĀ Kelvin-Helmholtz mechanism is rather interesting for generation of heat deep inside gas giant planets and derived chthonian planets.

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