Chapter 4. The Interiors of the Planets

  1. Stephen Eales

Published Online: 23 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470721780.ch4

Planets and Planetary Systems

Planets and Planetary Systems

How to Cite

Eales, S. (2009) The Interiors of the Planets, in Planets and Planetary Systems, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470721780.ch4

Author Information

  1. School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 27 MAR 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470016923

Online ISBN: 9780470721780



  • interiors of planets;
  • back-of-the-envelope model of interior of Ganymede;
  • model of structure of Jupiter;
  • seismic waves travelling through Earth from earthquake;
  • Williams–Adams method;
  • hot interior and why Earth's surface seems interesting;
  • inefficiency of heat transfer in lithosphere and planet surface and its interest;
  • lithosphere stresses released by global system of plate tectonics


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • What we do and don't know about planetary interiors

  • Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune

  • Why we know so much about the Earth

  • Why is the surface of the Earth such an interesting place?

  • Exercises

  • Further Reading