Ice Giant Thor’s Hammer

In astrophysics and planetary science the term “ices” refers to volatile chemical compounds with freezing points above about 100 K, such as water, ammonia, or methane, with freezing points of 273 K, 195 K, and 91 K, respectively (see Volatiles). In the 1990s, it was realized that Uranus and Neptune are a distinct class of giant planet, separate from the other giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn. They have become known as ice giants. Their constituent compounds were solids when they were primarily incorporated into the planets during their formation, either directly in the form of ices or trapped in water ice. Today, very little of the water in Uranus and Neptune remains in the form of ice. Instead, water primarily exists as supercritical fluid at the temperatures and pressures within them.