General Question

punkrockworld's avatar

What is the structure of my made up planet?

Asked by punkrockworld (960points) March 17th, 2010

Let’s say scientists had just discovered a planet inbetween the mass of Venus and Mars and that it consisted of rock, water, lead,argon gas, and a made-up substance close to wood or paper except it does not catch fire or burn. What’s the structure of this planet from center to surface? And why does this planet have that structure?
I have been having a hard time understanding this concept.

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10 Answers

punkrockworld's avatar

i have been reading astronomy book after astronomy book, yet i still cannot find this answer.

simone54's avatar

It’s made up.

frigate1985's avatar

It would have a lead core and the water would be either frozen or vaporized, since Argon doesnt catch fire (or not easily) i suppose the air would be thick with them. Rock, molten in the center, solid on the surface, If the made up thing is close to wood or paper im assuming that it would be light and not very dense. So i guess it would be on the surface….
Lead being dense, it would be found in the center (assumes that the planet is not a gas planet) and the general arrangement would be Lead-> Rock(I suppose its somethin like granite)->paper rock thing -> argon

frigate1985's avatar

Would hav to ask my Materials Professor papa for precise details, but thats as far as I know.

Cruiser's avatar

Spam! Spammity Spam!

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

@simone54 actually has the correct short form answer. This sounds to me like a highly contrived planet; extremely unlikely to form in nature due to the relative rarity of lead and argon with respect to the other elements in the cosmos. Based upon your previous question – frankly – I believe you’ll need to come to grips with more chemistry, geology and physics before you can really comprehend current theories of planetary formation and structure.

grumpyfish's avatar

Seconding what @simone54 and @hiphiphopflipflapflop said and “rock” is a funny thing for a planet to be made of.

So: “In geology, rock is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.” which could be just about anything. 49.5% (by mass) of our planet’s crust is oxygen (as part of rock)...

@frigate1985 Lead doesn’t necessarily settle to the bottom, it depends on the evolution of the planet. (That is, if the lead was deposited on the planet after it cooled, it could stay on the surface)

The “wood or paper that doesn’t burn” is an odd thing. Sounds to me like a mineral fiber? The reason that just about all organisms are flammable is that combustion is simply a fast oxidation reaction. We use oxidation to produce energy, so it’s possible to make that sort of thing happen fast. If it doesn’t burn, you’re probably talking about something like a mineral fiber?

One thing to look for maybe is the chemical makeup of asteroids—they are sort of the “raw building blocks” that planets are made from—the ratios of elements in asteroids are typical of the generation of solar system we have. Heavier elements- -anything heavier than Hydrogen & Helium (which were produced in the big bang)—are all produced during the course of stellar evolution, and some only produced in supernova. Anything heavier than Oxygen (e.g., the Iron in your blood) is produced in a supernova. That means that your lead, your Argon, etc. are all super rare in the universe.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

As to the rarity of argon: Is it rare on a universal scale? Yes. However, if you use the Earth as a model, then it isn’t very rare. Argon is the third most abundant constituent of Earth’s atmosphere, and it even occurs in greater concentrations in our atmosphere than CO2 does.

grumpyfish's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities Although that would tend to be due to the decay of potassium-40, not due to a natural abundance on Earth…

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