Standing On Jupiter.

This question goes back to when I was a child. One time, I mused to myself as a child, why is there such a big to do about possible life on Mars? Why no, say, Jupiter too? (They sent a probe to Mars when I was still a kid. But people still wondered about life, maybe microbal, on Mars.) Then as time went by, I found out more and more about Jupiter. Still not enough, though, to answer what happens if you stood on Jupiter.

My question is simply this: What would happen if you stood on the surface of Jupiter? (You would have to be wearing a space suit first, I assume.) But what would happen? Would you sink? Would you be buoyant and float? Would the surface be solid? And if you sank, would you go all the way to the center, or stop along the way?

Thank you in advance to all who reply:)

Dude, Jupiter’s a gas giant. You can’t stand on it.

Which is why one of my questions was, Would you sink? And how far would you sink, etc.:slight_smile:

Well, the mass of Jupiter is about roughly 380 times that of Earth, so I would guess you’d be crushed under the weight of your own hair.

Err, that’s 318 times the mass of Earth, not 380.

I think, but I’m not a planet-studier-guy, that at some point the gas would compress into a liquid. But you would be crushed before you could stand, float, sink or swim in it.

The gelatinous blob that remains of you would sink until the material below it was denser. But you wouldn’t remain a gelatinous blob for long. First, you are not made of uniform material, some blobettes will sink deeper than others. Second, Jupiter’s atmosphere is extremely turbulent, so you would be scattered horizontally as well. You might end up something like a kite string, but not nearly as substantial. Or maybe something like a 3-dimensional Jackson Pollack painting.

If you’re suddenly teleported into the edge of Jupiters atmosphere and released (in a space suit armored to withstand pressure) you’d be in free fall so you wouldn’t be crushed by gravity.

You’ll fall until your spacesuit burns up or is collapsed by pressure, it reaches 9500 k pretty quickly:

But it’s more than 10 times the diameter of earth, so gravity on the surface would only be 3 times.

the “surface” of the exotic temperature and pressure core (we have no frigging idea what it is) would be 100s of thousands of G’s if you could somehow get there.

if you’re in the atmosphere you’re either in orbit or free falling. Either way you’re in zero G.

I’m thinking the density of the planet would increase as you went deeper, and eventually you’d float or crash, depending if it solidified first or reached your density first. Some people think the density of our oceans increases enough for scrap to float before reaching the bottom too.

My guess is that given the temperature rise, whatever is left of you would be gaseous long before it reached those kinds of densities, and so you’d be dispersed by the winds and stop falling.

Any planetologists here to give a definate answer?

I must admit I’m a bit hazy about Jupiter’s structure, too. Is the “surface” of the planet that we see basically just the outer tenuous reaches of its atmosphere? And then does it basically just get steadily denser down through the atmosphere until you reach the soothing menthol liquid centre (and the enormous diamond, pace Arthur C Clarke :slight_smile: )?

By the above logic, couldn’t you just as well say that on Earth anyone falling off the side of a boat should inevitably be crushed to death by hydrostatic pressure?

Assuming you were in free fall, would there be a point in time, before reaching the liquid core where tidal forces might overcome whatever protective shell you were in Ignoring the 9500k heat of re-entry.

From wiki:

My scientific conclusion is that things would end poorly.

Sounds like a good question for xkcd’s new feature.

Scrap-what? Metal? Got a cite for that?

Even if some people think that, it’s not true. At the deepest part of the ocean, where ambient pressure is around 16,000 psi, the density of the water there is only about 6% greater than it is at the surface. Aluminum will still sink quite readily in this medium.

Yes it doesn’t seem to be true. Can’t remember where I read it though, maybe it was science fiction?

I think this point in the discussion depends on the situation. Are you teleported in? Freefall? Do you have rocket boosters to slow you down like our rovers?

I don’t get why they call Jupiter “gas” if it’s solid inside though. Couldn’t you say the same for Earth? The outer layers are gas, then it’s rock.

You’re asking about the effects of buoyancy? Well, we can get a back-of-the-envelope approximation by using the ideal gas law and this chart and assuming that the atmosphere is mostly molecular hydrogen. At the top of the troposphere, the density of the atmosphere should be about 0.02 kg/m[sup]3[/sup]. This increases up to about 0.16 kg/m[sup]3[/sup] by the time the pressure reaches about 1 bar, which is often considered to be the “zero altitude” on Jupiter. By the time you get down to -132 km, where the Galileo atmosphere probe failed, the density is up to 1.1 kg/m[sup]3[/sup]. Not nearly enough to float in, or even tread water.

That makes sense, thanks.