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Answered 2009-07-23 02:53:39

Terrestrial planets are made of rock, mostly with a molten core, while giant planets are made up of gases.

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Terrestrial planets are rocky bodies whereas the giant planets consist mostly of gasses with trace amounts of solids. This is due to the fact that the heavier elements were pulled closer to the sun via gravity.



Jovian Planets: Gas GiantsThe gas giants, popularly referred to as the Jovian planets, are the planets which are not composed of any solid matter. Technically speaking, the planets which have 10 times more mass than the Earth are classified as the Jovian planets. The examples of Jovian planets in our solar system, include the planet Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. These planets are referred to as the Jovian planets owing to their stark resemblance to the planet Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. Other than these four planets in our solar system, several other gas giants have been discovered in outer space.Terrestrial Planets: Inner PlanetsTerrestrial planets, also known as the rocky planets or the telluric planets, are those planets which are predominantly composed of silicate rocks. The examples of terrestrial planets in the solar system are Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. These planets resemble the planet Earth to a significant extent, and hence they are referred to as 'Earth-like' or 'terrestrial' (derived from the Latin word the Earth - terra). Other than the Earth, and three other terrestrial planets in our solar system, the scientists have identified a number of planets with terrestrial traits in outer space.Jovian Planets Vs Terrestrial PlanetsThat brings us back to the terrestrial planets vs Jovian planets comparison. The most basic difference between Jovian and terrestrial planets is their size. While the Jovian planets are gigantic, the terrestrial planets are considerably small. In fact, the smallest Jovian planet is 10 times larger than the planet Earth, which is the largest terrestrial planet. Even in terms of the mass, Jovian planets score over their terrestrial counterparts. The smallest Jovian planet has 15 times more mass than the Earth. The surface of the Jovian planets is made up of gases, while the surface of the terrestrial planets is made up of solid rock. Similarly, the atmosphere of the terrestrial planets is predominantly made up of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, while the atmosphere of the Jovian planets is made up of hydrogen and helium. As far as the distance from the Sun is concerned, the terrestrial planets are closer to the Sun, and hence are referred to as inner planets, while the Jovian planets are farther, and hence are referred to as the outer planets. Surprisingly, however, the speed at which the Jovian planets rotate is much faster than the terrestrial planets. The density of the terrestrial planets is five times that of water, while the density of the Jovian planets is as much as that of water. Yet another point of difference between the Jovian planets and the terrestrial planets is the number of natural satellites. While the terrestrial planets either have none or a very few (Mercury-0, Venus-0, Earth-1 and Mars-2), the Jovian planets have a large number of them.


Terrestrial means "Of Earth" or "Earth-like", and these planets generally have lower mass than Jovials but are denser and rocky. Jovials tend to be gaseous, have high mass, and are usually (but not always) larger in diameter.


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Terrestrial animals can't just release sperm into their environment to fertilize eggs, where as some aquatic animals can, because sperm needs water to fertilize


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1) gas giants/outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus Neptune; outside of the asteroid belt2) Terrestrial planets/inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars; inside the asteroid beltTerrestrial planets are like Earth, Mars, or Venus--they are smaller rocky masses that may also have a thin atmosphere.Gas planets are like Jupiter, Saturn, or Uranus--they are larger masses that are composed primarily if not exclusively of matter in gas or liquid form.


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