Adapted from table 7 of Pearl and Conrath (1991).

Adapted from table 7 of Pearl and Conrath (1991).

The measured albedos and thermal infrared fluxes of the giant planets are listed in Table 3.2. The data in this table show that the calculated effective radiating temperatures of all the Jovian planets except Uranus are significantly smaller than observed bolometric temperatures. This implies, therefore, that these planets have significant internal sources of heat, which may come from three possible sources:

(1) Residual heat of formation arising from continued cooling, and shrinking of the planets via the Kelvin-Helmholtz mechanism.

(2) Fractionation in the interior, with heavy elements settling towards the center and converting gravitational energy into thermal energy.

(3) Radioisotope heating.

The contribution of all these sources to the observed bolometric temperatures of the giant planets will now be discussed.

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