Difference Between Jovian and Terrestrial Planets

Jovian vs Terrestrial Planets

Our solar system, of which earth is a part, comprises of Jovian and terrestrial planets. This is a classification based upon as much as their distance from the sun as upon their physical and chemical properties. Planets that are farthest from sun comprise the Jovian group whereas those that are closer to sun make up terrestrial planets. There are several differences between Jovian and Terrestrial planets that will be highlighted in this article.

Terrestrial Planets

The word terrestrial comes from the Latin Terra that means related to earth. Thus, planets in the solar system that are similar to earth are called terrestrial planets. The group that makes up terrestrial planets is close to the sun, the centre of our solar system. Thus Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars make up terrestrial planets. Like earth, all other planets in this group have solid grounds, and the surface of these planets is composed of silicates and other metals. The core of these planets is made up of iron with outer rocks being silicates. These rocks and metals in the composition of these planets cause the density to be very high. All terrestrial planets have very few satellites and also have a thin outer atmosphere.

Jovian Planets

The word Jovian comes from Jove, the Greek God after which the planet has been named Jupiter. The group comprises Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune and lies farthest to sun. With Pluto labeled as a dwarf planet and having been left out of our solar system, there remain only 8 planets in our solar system.

Jovian planets are also called Gas Giants because of the fact that they do not have solid grounds but are mainly composed of a dense layer of gases. However, Neptune and Uranus are giants but not gas giants as they are made up of ice. The reason why Jovian planets are called giants is because they are much heavier having more than 10 earth masses. These planets have many moons and satellites.

What is the difference between Jovian and Terrestrial Planets?

• Jovian planets are much bigger than terrestrial planets.

• Terrestrial planets are closer to the sun than Jovian planets.

• Terrestrial planets have an earth like structure, and the word terra itself indicates this fact.

• Jovian planets have a dense blanket of gases and do not have solid grounds that are there in terrestrial planets.

• Jovian planets are named after Jupiter whereas terrestrial planets are named after earth.

• Jovian planets is a group that comprises Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus wile Terrestrial planets is a group composed of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.

• Terrestrial planets have a solid core made of iron making them have a high density, whereas Jovian planets are made up of dense gases but have a low density.

• Terrestrial planets have a thin atmosphere whereas Jovian planets have heavy atmosphere.

• Terrestrial planets have fewer moons and satellites than Jovian planets.

• Terrestrial planets are spherical, whereas Jovian planets are slightly oblong in shape.

• Jovian planets being farther from the sun are cooler than terrestrial planets.