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Gas Giants
Jupiter is the largest of the four "jovian planets" or "gas giants" grouped with Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Although each is unique, as a group they are much different from the inner planets, which are also called terrestrial planets, in that they are much larger, but are made of lighter material. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, and Mars are all made of different amounts of rock and iron. Similar material probably is buried in the cores of the jovian planets, but it is surrounded by huge spheres of gas, mostly hydrogen and helium, the lightest elements. Because of their large gravity and low temperatures, the atmospheres of the gas giants contain material left over from the time of formation of the Solar System, called primordial material.

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Last updated 10/01/01.

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