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Jupiter

Jupiter

Jupiter is the largest planet of the Solar System, it has two and a half times the mass of all the other planets combined.

Geography

Keywords

Jupiter, ring system, Solar System, gas giant, outer planet, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, moons of Jupiter, planet, Sun, astronomy, geography

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Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun, second from the Earth, the closest of the outer planets. It is the largest planet in the Solar System, its diameter is 142,984 km (88,860 mi). It has two and a half times the mass of all the other planets combined. It is a gas giant, it does not have a solid surface.

Data:

Diameter: 142,984 km (88,860 mi or 11.2 Earths)

Mass: 1.90x10²⁷ kg (4.19x10²⁷ lb or 317.8 Earths)

Average density: 1.33 g/cm³ (0.048 lb/in³)

Surface gravity: 2.364 g

Surface temperature: -130 °C (-202 °F)

Number of moons: 79

Rotation period: 9 h 50 m

Axial tilt: 3.1°

Average distance from the Sun:
778,300,000 km (= 483,600,000 mi = 5.20 AU = 43.5 light minutes)

Orbital eccentricity: 0.0484

Orbital period: 11.86 years

Io:

Average distance from Jupiter:
421,800 km (262,100 mi)

Orbital period: 1.77 days

Diameter: 3,642.6 km (2,264 mi or 0.286 Earths)

Mass: 8.9319x10²² kg (1.97x10²³ lb)

Average density: 3.53 g/cm³ (0.128 lb/in³)

Surface gravity: 0.183 g

Europa:

Average distance from Jupiter:
671,100 km (262,100 mi)

Orbital period: 3.55 days

Diameter: 3,121.6 km (1,940 mi or 0.245 Earths)

Mass: 4.8x10²² kg (1.06x10²³ lb)

Average density: 3.01 g/cm³ (0.109 lb/in³)

Surface gravity: 0.134 g

Ganymede:

Average distance from Jupiter:
1,070,400 km (665,000 mi)

Orbital period: 7.16 days

Diameter: 5,262 km (3,270 mi or 0.413 Earths)

Mass: 1.48x10²³ kg (3.26x10²³ lb)

Average density: 1.94 g/cm³ (0.070 lb/in³)

Surface gravity: 0.146 g

Callisto:

Average distance from Jupiter:
1,882,700 km (1,170,000 mi)

Orbital period: 16.69 days

Diameter: 4,820.6 km (2,995 mi or 0.378 Earths)

Mass: 1.08x10²³ kg (2.38x10²³ lb)

Average density: 1.83 g/cm³ (0.066 lb/in³)

Surface gravity: 0.126 g

  • - Jupiter has a 1,000 km (621 mi) thick atmosphere.
  • - The core is surrounded by a layer of metallic hydrogen of about 52,000 km (32,310 mi) in thickness.

  • average distance from the Sun: 778,300,000 km (483,600,000 mi)

Apart from the Sun and the Moon, Jupiter is the brightest celestial body after Venus. It was named after the chief god of Roman mythology, who was the god of the sky, daylight and storms and the king of the gods. He was the equivalent of Zeus, who was the chief god of Greek mythology, the lord of gods and of men, leader of the Olympian gods; his name means ‘bright sky’.

Galileo was the first to observe the planet through his telescope in 1610. He also discovered Jupiter’s four largest moons, which have since been named the Galilean moons, in honor of their discoverer.

The first mission to Jupiter was by the Pioneer 10 space probe in 1973. Jupiter has also been regularly observed by the Hubble space telescope. In 1995, an atmospheric probe was launched from Galileo into the planet’s atmosphere. It penetrated 150 km (93 mi) deep, collecting and sending data before the high pressure (22 atmospheres) and high temperature (153 °C or 307 °F) destroyed it.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun, second from the Earth, and the closest of the outer planets. It is the largest planet in the Solar System, with a diameter of 142,984 km (88,860 mi). It has two and half times the mass of all the other planets combined.

Jupiter is a gas giant, so it does not have a solid surface. Its average density is low (1.33 g/cm³ or 0.048 lb/in³). Under the visible cloud layer is a 1,000 km (621 mi) thick atmosphere rich in hydrogen, below which, where the pressure may be a million times as great as that of the Earth, there might be a 25,000 km (15,530 mi) deep ocean of molecular liquid hydrogen (according to models). Jupiter’s atmosphere consists of hydrogen (90%) and helium, but it also contains traces of methane, ammonia and water vapor. The bands alternate in color, and the winds within the different belts and zones have different speeds, creating vortices. The Great Red Spot is a vast anticyclonic storm (the Earth would even fit inside). It was observed as early as 300 years ago. During the past few years, several comets and asteroids have struck Jupiter. An analysis of their traces has led to certain assumptions about Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Out of all the planets, the rotation of Jupiter is the fastest. It has a powerful magnetosphere, ten times as strong as the Earth’s. The magnetic axis of Jupiter is tilted 10° from the axis of rotation. Some of the images taken by the Hubble telescope show aurorae on Jupiter. The planet radiates twice as much heat as it receives from the Sun; the amount of heat produced inside the planet is similar to the total solar radiation it receives, which is probably due to the potential energy emitted during the slow shrinking of the planet. The core temperature of Jupiter is around 26,000 K (46,340 °F).

Jupiter has a ring system made up of dark dust particles, which is less than 30 km (18.6 mi) in thickness. The moons of Jupiter were named after lovers and favorites of Zeus in Greek mythology. The four largest ones are the Galilean moons: these are Io, Ganymede, Europa and Callisto. They orbit Jupiter at its equatorial plane, and have nearly circular orbits. The first detailed images of their surface were provided by the Voyager space probes.

There is strong volcanic activity on Io; its surface features a varied topography of calderas, mountains and lakes of molten sulfur. Io is mainly composed of rock, and thus its composition is similar to the terrestrial planets.

The surface of Europa is covered with thick, smooth ice, with streaks crisscrossing the entire surface. There is probably a liquid ocean under the ice layer, kept liquid by tidally generated heat. It is similar to terrestrial planets in structure and composition.

Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system. Its diameter is slightly greater than that of Mercury, but it is only half as dense as that planet. Its surface features dark areas with craters and younger, lighter, tectonically more active areas. The crust of Ganymede is composed of ice.

There are no distinct layers inside Callisto. According to data provided by the Galileo space probe, it consists of ice (40%) as well as rock and iron (60%). Callisto’s surface is the oldest in the solar system; it has not changed much in the past 4 billion years.

Narration

Apart from the Sun and the Moon, Jupiter is the brightest celestial body after Venus. It was named after the chief god of Roman mythology, who was the god of the sky, daylight and storms and the king of the gods. He was the equivalent of Zeus, who was the chief god of Greek mythology, the lord of gods and of men, leader of the Olympian gods; his name means ‘bright sky’.

Galileo was the first to observe the planet through his telescope in 1610. He also discovered Jupiter’s four largest moons, which have since been named the Galilean moons, in honor of their discoverer.

The first mission to Jupiter was by the Pioneer 10 space probe in 1973. Jupiter has also been regularly observed by the Hubble space telescope. In 1995, an atmospheric probe was launched from Galileo into the planet’s atmosphere. It penetrated 150 km (93 mi) deep, collecting and sending data before the high pressure (22 atmospheres) and high temperature (153 °C or 307 °F) destroyed it.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun, second from the Earth, and the closest of the outer planets. It is the largest planet in the Solar System, with a diameter of 142,984 km (88,860 mi). It has two and half times the mass of all the other planets combined.

Jupiter is a gas giant, so it does not have a solid surface. Its average density is low (1.33 g/cm³ or 0.048 lb/in³). Under the visible cloud layer is a 1,000 km (621 mi) thick atmosphere rich in hydrogen, below which, where the pressure may be a million times as great as that of the Earth, there might be a 25,000 km (15,530 mi) deep ocean of molecular liquid hydrogen (according to models). Jupiter’s atmosphere consists of hydrogen (90%) and helium, but it also contains traces of methane, ammonia and water vapor. The bands alternate in color, and the winds within the different belts and zones have different speeds, creating vortices. The Great Red Spot is a vast anticyclonic storm (the Earth would even fit inside). It was observed as early as 300 years ago. During the past few years, several comets and asteroids have struck Jupiter. An analysis of their traces has led to certain assumptions about Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Out of all the planets, the rotation of Jupiter is the fastest. It has a powerful magnetosphere, ten times as strong as the Earth’s. The magnetic axis of Jupiter is tilted 10° from the axis of rotation. Some of the images taken by the Hubble telescope show aurorae on Jupiter. The planet radiates twice as much heat as it receives from the Sun; the amount of heat produced inside the planet is similar to the total solar radiation it receives, which is probably due to the potential energy emitted during the slow shrinking of the planet. The core temperature of Jupiter is around 26,000 K (46,340 °F).

Jupiter has a ring system made up of dark dust particles, which is less than 30 km (18.6 mi) in thickness. The moons of Jupiter were named after lovers and favorites of Zeus in Greek mythology. The four largest ones are the Galilean moons: these are Io, Ganymede, Europa and Callisto. They orbit Jupiter at its equatorial plane, and have nearly circular orbits. The first detailed images of their surface were provided by the Voyager space probes.

There is strong volcanic activity on Io; its surface features a varied topography of calderas, mountains and lakes of molten sulfur. Io is mainly composed of rock, and thus its composition is similar to the terrestrial planets.

The surface of Europa is covered with thick, smooth ice, with streaks crisscrossing the entire surface. There is probably a liquid ocean under the ice layer, kept liquid by tidally generated heat. It is similar to terrestrial planets in structure and composition.

Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system. Its diameter is slightly greater than that of Mercury, but it is only half as dense as that planet. Its surface features dark areas with craters and younger, lighter, tectonically more active areas. The crust of Ganymede is composed of ice.

There are no distinct layers inside Callisto. According to data provided by the Galileo space probe, it consists of ice (40%) as well as rock and iron (60%). Callisto’s surface is the oldest in the solar system; it has not changed much in the past 4 billion years.

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