gas giant

(redirected from Giant Planets)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

gas giant

n.
A large planet having a thick gaseous atmosphere but no solid surface due to a low abundance of rock or other solid material. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are gas giants.

gas giant

n
(Celestial Objects) one of the four planets in our solar system that are composed chiefly of hydrogen and helium, namely Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
[C20: coined by James Blish (1921–75), US science fiction writer]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gas giant - any of the four outermost planets in the solar system; much larger than Earth and gaseous in nature (like Jupiter)
major planet, planet - (astronomy) any of the nine large celestial bodies in the solar system that revolve around the sun and shine by reflected light; Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in order of their proximity to the sun; viewed from the constellation Hercules, all the planets rotate around the sun in a counterclockwise direction
Translations
géante gazeuse
References in periodicals archive ?
And solving that problem could help scientists better understand more than just gas giants: "Understanding giant-planet formation is essential for understanding the origin and character of planetary systems in general, since gravitational perturbations from giant planets can affect the growth of objects elsewhere in the same system.
Small stars are actually the most common in the universe, so it is possible that there are many of these giant planets waiting to found.
Theorists have long suspected that giant planets could only form in a planetary system's outer regions, where conditions are cold enough for molecules such as carbon dioxide and water to freeze into icy clumps and act as planetary building blocks.
In systems with giant planets similar to Jupiter, they also tend to be much closer to their host stars than the giant planets in our solar system.
The findings have ramifications for the understanding of atmospheric dynamics and the formation of giant planets like Jupiter.
These asteroids tell us that the GD 61 system had - or still has - rocky, terrestrial planets, and the way they pollute the white dwarf tells us that giant planets probably still exist there.
However, astronomers have proposed ways that giant planets could develop bulkier moons.
The mission's principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Scott Bolton, said: "The main goals of Juno are to study the origin of Jupiter, and it represents giant planets as we know around our stars and other stars, it holds a lot of key secrets.
Dr Christiane Helling believes that the dust of precious stones in the atmosphere of gas giant planets and brown dwarfs could hold the key to the origin of life.
European astronomers said they had located dozens of giant planets in three distant solar systems.
We study giant planets to look inside at ourselves and to look far away," Atkinson says.
A sampling of topics: statistical properties of extrasolar planets, planetary messages in the Doppler residuals, modes of gaseous planet formation, growth and interactions of planets, new insights into extrasolar giant planets, possible in situ formation of close giant planets in a passive quiescent nebula, and planetary system imaging and spectroscopy from earth and space.