Helping scientists better understand the methane-rich outer planets


An international team, including ILL scientists, have used neutron scattering to study the behaviour of dense supercritical methane. Their results could help to better model the interiors of methane-rich outer planets of our solar system.

“Methane is one of the most abundant molecules in the Universe and there’s no doubt it is a major component in our solar system, especially on planets further out from the Sun than Mars,” explains Umbertoluca Ranieri, former ILL PhD student and now a postdoctoral researcher at Sapienza University in Rome.

“With data at hand coming from the most recent space missions, scientists are modelling the interiors of those planetary bodies, and our study provides new clues for that modelling.”

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