Why does Saturn have only about half as much helium in its atmosphere as Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune as a fraction of its total atmospheric composition?

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    Helium freezes into a solid form within the clouds of Saturn, removing it preferentially from the atmosphere.
     A large comet probably impacted Saturn, heating it up and driving much of the helium into orbit.
     Saturns greenhouse effect causes helium to be heated up and thus escape the gravitational field of the planet..
     Helium dissolves in hydrogen at the temperatures and pressures thought to exist in Saturns interior..
     Helium may have liquefied and precipitated down into the interior of Saturn, reducing its overall contribution to the atmospheric composition.
asked Sep 20, 2012 in Astronomy by anonymous
    

1 Answer

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Helium may have liquefied and precipitated down into the interior of Saturn, reducing its overall contribution to the atmospheric composition.
answered Sep 22, 2012 by SkyStar ~Expert~ (2,855 points)



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