Skip to comments.How Big is the Biggest Possible Planet?
Posted on 08/05/2017 4:01:54 PM PDT by MtnClimber
Last week, a team of astronomers reported the first potential discovery of an exomoona satellite orbiting a planet around another star. Part of what is so striking about the report is the scale of this possible planet-moon system. In this case, the moon appears to be about the size of Neptune; the planet it orbits is some 10 times the mass of Jupiter, or about 3,000 times the mass of Earth!
The system pushes at the limits of how we normally categorize objects in space and invites questions about where we stand in the scale of things. What is the biggest possible planet? Viewed through the full range of possibilities, is Earth a big planet or a small one?
There are two ways to come at the question, depending on what you mean by big. If you think of the size of a planet in terms of mass, then there is a specific but rather technical answer. Planets are defined as bodies that do not generate their own energy from nuclear fusion. Any planet more than about 13 times the mass of Jupiter (4,o00 Earth masses, roughly) generates enough heat and pressure in its core to trigger limited fusion reactions of deuterium, a heavy isotope of hydrogen. At that point, the object is considered a brown dwarf instead of a planet.
The nuclear-ignition boundary between planet and brown dwarf is based on hidden interior processes, however, and it is not at all obvious from the outside. The critical mass for fusion also depends on on the mix of elements inside the object. For a plausible range of compositions, the cutoff point could be anywhere from 11 to 16 times the mass of Jupiter. If you want the full hairy details, they are here.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.discovermagazine.com ...
Good thing we are not a brown dwarf!
You mean a dwarf of color.
Yes and it din do nuffin.
A ‘little person’ of color. Or maybe ‘little planet’ in this case. We’ve already offended Pluto enough, can’t we all just get along?
Well, I would think Krypton represents the upper limit of a planet’s size for stability.
Would it be bigger than Michael Moore?
Three times sixteen......
Carry the four.......
Multiply by seven.....
The official answer from the American Society of Measuring Stuff is
Every good Alpha Centaurian knows the largest planet possible is 2.44 million quadittarons.
You could rack up a whole lot of frequent flyer miles living on such a planet.
> critical mass for fusion also depends on on the mix of elements inside the object.
That’s my answer. What I’d like to see is 1000x Jupiter size composed of PU...but not too close to feel it.
At the rate of dense islams pinching off, Earth could become a death star soon.
You mean a little person of color.
13 times bigger than Jupiter? Liberals, we found the perfect place...(NeverTrumpers, you can go, too.) for you...
as long as they don’t wanna say “hell-o 2 u”
Note: this topic is from . Thanks MtnClimber.
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