This classification is based on their larger size, smaller average density, gaseous composition, dense interiors, distance from the Sun, their rings and rocky and icy moons. The distance between these planets and the Sun is massive, ranging from five times the distance between the Earth and the Sun (in the case of Jupiter) to as large as 30 times in the case of Neptune. 1 The term Jovian derives from Jupiter which is also one of the Jovian planets, by naming these planets “Jovian” it is implied that the others are similar to Jupiter or Jupiter-like. Interestingly these four planets also comprise the outer part of the solar system.2
Typically Jovian planets are massive planets that are encompassed by a thick layer of atmosphere and center around a dense molten core. The gases are tightly compressed around the core. Relatively speaking, the cores of these planet’s are tiny in relation to Earth’s core. 3 The term Jovian Planets is somewhat misleading, since as it is mentioned above Jovian means like Jupiter. However, research proves that although Neptune and Uranus are also made of gaseous material they are different from Jupiter in their composition. Hence in 1952 science fiction writer James Blish coined the term Gas Giants to describe the four planets owing to the difference in compositions. .One hypothesis on what these rings actually are is that these rings are remains of moons that earlier surrounded the planets. It is believed that when a moon approaches the tidal waves rip the moon apart into tiny pieces that eventually get spread around the planet in the form of rings.