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Gas giant

A gas giant is a large planet that is not primarily composed of rock or other solid matter.

Gas giants may have a rocky or metallic core—in fact, such a core is thought to be required for a gas giant to form—but the majority of its mass is in the form of the gases hydrogen and helium, with traces of water, methane, ammonia, and other hydrogen compounds.

Unlike rocky planets, which have a clearly defined difference between atmosphere and surface, gas giants do not have a well-defined surface; their atmospheres simply become gradually denser toward the core, perhaps with liquid or liquid-like states in between.

One cannot "land on" such planets in the traditional sense.

There are four gas giants in our solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Gas giant", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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October 7, 2015

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