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Uranus and Neptune: Origin, Evolution and Internal Structure


Helled, Ravit; Nettelmann, Nadine; Guillot, Tristan (2020). Uranus and Neptune: Origin, Evolution and Internal Structure. Space Science Reviews, 216(3):38.

Abstract

There are still many open questions regarding the nature of Uranus and Neptune, the outermost planets in the Solar System. In this review we summarize the current-knowledge about Uranus and Neptune with a focus on their composition and internal structure, formation including potential subsequent giant impacts, and thermal evolution. We present key open questions and discuss the uncertainty in the internal structures of the planets due to the possibility of non-adiabatic and inhomogeneous interiors. We also provide the reasoning for improved observational constraints on their fundamental physical parameters such as their gravitational and magnetic fields, rotation rates, and deep atmospheric composition and temperature. Only this way will we be able to improve our understating of these planetary objects, and the many similar-sized objects orbiting other stars.

Abstract

There are still many open questions regarding the nature of Uranus and Neptune, the outermost planets in the Solar System. In this review we summarize the current-knowledge about Uranus and Neptune with a focus on their composition and internal structure, formation including potential subsequent giant impacts, and thermal evolution. We present key open questions and discuss the uncertainty in the internal structures of the planets due to the possibility of non-adiabatic and inhomogeneous interiors. We also provide the reasoning for improved observational constraints on their fundamental physical parameters such as their gravitational and magnetic fields, rotation rates, and deep atmospheric composition and temperature. Only this way will we be able to improve our understating of these planetary objects, and the many similar-sized objects orbiting other stars.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Astronomy and Astrophysics
Physical Sciences > Space and Planetary Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Space and Planetary Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics
Language:English
Date:1 April 2020
Deposited On:15 Feb 2021 09:27
Last Modified:16 Feb 2021 21:01
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0038-6308
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-020-00660-3

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