Questions for “Born in deep shadows? That could explain Jupiter’s strange makeup”

The atmosphere of Jupiter (shown) has seemingly too much nitrogen, argon, krypton and xenon. This suggests the giant planet formed in a very cold place.

NASA, ESA, A. Simon/GSFC, M.H. Wong/UCB

To accompany “Born in deep shadows? That could explain Jupiter’s strange makeup


Before Reading:

1.  Where do planets come from? How do astrophysicists think they are born?

2.  Name at least three facts about Jupiter.

During Reading:

1.  What is Jupiter made of?

2.  What is a protoplanetary disk?

3.  What aspect of Jupiter’s composition troubled scientists?

4.  At what temperature do many of the gases in Jupiter freeze?

5.  What in the solution that two groups of scientists came up with, two years ago, to solve the problem of where Jupiter could have formed?

6.  How does the proposed alternative solution by Kazumasa Ohno and Takahiro Ueda differ from those offered up two years ago?

7.  Why does Alex Cridland describe the newly proposed solution as a “clever fix”?

After Reading:

1.  Scientists refer to Jupiter and Saturn as gas giants. How might that term be inappropriate for part of Jupiter’s life history?

2.  If Jupiter is closer to the sun than Pluto, how could the site of Jupiter’s birth in Ohno and Ueda’s scheme ever be colder than Pluto? Use information from the story to support your answer.