What are the minor gases in Jupiter's chemical composition? 


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Samuel Chiltern Profile
Samuel Chiltern answered
Jupiter is a huge planet, the largest in the Solar System. It is about five times farther from the Sun than our planet.

It is this great distance, combined with Jupiter's inhospitable environment, that make it so difficult for scientists to take accurate measurements, even from within the outer atmosphere.

With this in mind, you need to remember that nobody knows the exact chemical composition of Jupiter. However, the predominant chemical is widely accepted to be hydrogen, which accounts for almost 90 percent of the total.

Helium constitutes the vast majority of the remainder, making up just over 10 percent.

Our current state of knowledge suggests that there is a tiny trace of other chemicals, including:

  • methane - ~0.3%
  • ammonia - ~0.026%
  • hydrogen deuteride - ~0.003%
  • ethane - 0.0006%
  • water - 0.0004%
Not all of these substances are gas, and they account for such a small proportion of the theoretical total, that it's very hard to give a precise answer to your question. I think you'd be safe saying that methane and ammonia are Jupiter's minor gases.

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