gas giant

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Coined by American science fiction author James Blish in a rewritten reprinting of his 1941 short story "Solar Plexus" in the 1952 anthology Beyond Human Ken.

Noun[edit]

gas giant (plural gas giants)

  1. (astronomy) A large planet composed mostly of gaseous hydrogen and helium, along with methane and ammonia; possibly with a solid core.
    • 1954, James Blish, “Solar Plexus”, in Beyond Human Ken, Random House, page 106:
      A quick glance over the boards revealed that there was a magnetic field of some strength near by, one that didn't belong to the invisible gas giant revolving half a million miles away.
    • 2013 May-June, Kevin Heng, “Why Does Nature Form Exoplanets Easily?”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 184: 
      In the past two years, NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has located nearly 3,000 exoplanet candidates ranging from sub-Earth-sized minions to gas giants that dwarf our own Jupiter.

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