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If we fall into Saturn or Jupiter, would we pass through it until we hit the nucleus?

Or would we hit the surface and stop there?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 20 down vote accepted

I think you are confused as to what the 'surface' of Jupiter or Saturn are. They have a large liquid hydrogen centre, but this is surrounded by an incredibly thick layer of atmosphere, which has clouds, gases, liquids etc.

So you would first pass through the outer layers of atmosphere, falling through denser and denser gas until you float at a height which matches your density. Unfortunately, the pressure would have crushed you by this stage, so you wouldn't be able to enjoy it.

The core would still be far below you.

If you like science-fiction, try A Meeting with Medusa by Arthur C Clarke, an awesome writer who uses hard science in his stories.

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And an extra +1 for "...so you wouldn't be able to enjoy it." –  Andrew Mar 14 '12 at 16:37
@Andrew: A. Dent quote? –  Peter Mortensen Mar 14 '12 at 18:05
@LarsTech: The view is amazing. –  Keith Thompson Mar 14 '12 at 18:58
Nice and on-topic A.C. Clarke reference. :) –  Florin Andrei Mar 14 '12 at 19:15
@Andrew pressure and density aren't so simply related as that. If you think about it, sea-level water and sea-level air are at the same pressure, but very different densities. Hot liquid hydrogen such as in Jupiter would be extremely high pressure as well. –  Asher Apr 30 at 15:46

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