Quirks & Questions: Why isn't Jupiter a solid rock planet?

You ask the question, we find the answer.
Cassini Jupiter portrait. (NASA)
Listen3:22

A young Quirks & Quarks listener wants to know why the planet Jupiter didn't solidify like the other planets did 4.6 billion years ago when the Solar System formed.    

Dr. Christine Wilson, a professor of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University in Hamilton, says the answer is related to the fact that the planet is mostly made of hydrogen and helium, which do not solidify.  

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10-year old Alex Lowry's hand-written letter to Bob McDonald, host of Quirks & Quarks.