Astronomers have performed an interesting thought experiment that provides a better understanding of the nature of the gas giants.
There are four gas giants in the solar system – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. All of these planets are incredibly different from anything we can see on Earth or any other rocky planet, writes IFLScience .
Because these planets are mostly made up of massive atmospheres, some wonder if flying through them would be like flying through a cloud. Scientists say this is unlikely.
A similar thought experiment is often expressed as the question, can a bullet go right through Jupiter? The answer to this question will almost always be no, but the explanation is interesting enough.
The study of Jupiter’s interior is the main goal of the Juno scientific mission, which has been exploring the gas giant for years. With the help of various instruments, the spacecraft peers under the dense clouds of the planet.
It’s important to understand, astronomers say, that Jupiter isn’t made entirely of gas. It has a core and a mantle under its thick atmosphere. The dense core of Jupiter does not have clear boundaries, like the Earth, it mixes with the mantle above. Jupiter’s mantle is a giant ocean of liquid metallic hydrogen – a special state of hydrogen that occurs under tremendous pressure.
The gas on Jupiter is extremely liquefied, it looks and behaves like mercury, except that hydrogen is 60% denser than water and is under enormous pressure. Humanity does not yet have such a technology that could withstand this.
This ocean on Jupiter has a depth of tens of thousands of kilometers and is 80% of the radius of the planet itself. So far, scientists do not have exact data on the core of the gas giant, but its radius can reach half the radius of the entire planet.
Based on this, it is not possible to flash through Jupiter. The only thing that can be done is to fly through the outermost layers of Jupiter’s atmosphere.
So, is it possible to fire a bullet in the outer layers of the planet’s atmosphere? First you need to gain a foothold in the orbit of Jupiter at the level of the upper atmosphere, and this will require a speed of 42.5 km per second. The fastest bullet that has ever been created by man flies almost 30 times slower.