Is Jupiter a planet?
Jupiter is the largest planet of our Solar System and is a gas giant like Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. It is named after Jupiter, Roman the King of Gods and the God of the Sky or his Greek counterpart Zeus.
Where is Jupiter located in our Solar System?
It is the fifth planet in our Solar System and is situated between Mars and Saturn.
Who discovered Jupiter?
Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was the first to officially observe it through a telescope.
When and how was Jupiter discovered?
Being one of the brightest planets in the sky, it is easily visible to the naked eye and has been viewed since pre-historic times. Galileo observed it in 1610 along with its four largest moons, namely – Ganymede, Europa, Callista and Io. These four natural satellites are collectively known as Galilean satellites.
How many moons does Jupiter have?
Sixty-four moons of the planet have been discovered so far with the largest one being Ganymede.
How many rings does Jupiter have?
Like the other gas giants, it has a ring formation around it; however, it is very narrow and faint. First discovered in 1979 by NASA’s Voyager 1 space probe, this ring system is divided into mainly 4 parts – The Halo Ring, The Main Ring, The Amalthea Gossamer Ring and The Thebe Gossamer Ring.
Composition and atmosphere of Jupiter
The atmosphere makes up the whole of this planet which mainly comprises Hydrogen and Helium gases and also a small percentage of sulfur, ammonia, methane and water vapor. Negligible traces of some other volatile gases are also found.
What is the surface and core of Jupiter like?
Being composed of various gaseous components, Jupiter does not have a solid rocky surface. The core is however dense and of uncertain compositions surrounded by fluid-metallic hydrogen which is rich in Helium. No proper statistical data about the surface or the core of the planet has been deciphered as the enormous planet is engulfed in thick clouds.
What is the color of Jupiter?
The mixed atmospheric composition is what gives Jupiter its beautiful and colorful patterns of white, orange, brown and red.
What is the great red spot on the planet?
It is basically a violent hurricane-like storm raging on the planet’s southern hemisphere for approximately 400 years and has wind speeds of 430-450 kmph. The size of the storm has been reducing over the years but it is still big enough to fit in two Earths! It was first discovered in 1664 by Robert Hooke.
- The clouds surrounding the planet are almost 50 kilometers thick.
- It is also known as the ‘vacuum cleaner’ of our Solar system, as its powerful gravitational pull sucks in passing asteroids and meteors which might otherwise have collided with Earth!
- The Shoemaker Levy 9 was a comet that collided with Jupiter in July, 1994. This was the first extra-terrestrial collision of solar objects observed worldwide.
- Its total mass is 2.5 times that of all the other planets combined together.
- We could fit 1300 Earths in Jupiter!
- Ganymede is the largest moon of our Solar System and is bigger than the planet Mercury.
- It is the fastest rotating planet and a day here is of only 9.84 Earth hours!
- The earliest sightings of this colossal planet go back to the 7th-8thCentury B.C.
- The core is surrounded by a 1000km deep liquid metallic hydrogen sea which gives the planet 20,000 times stronger magnetic properties than that of the Earth!
- It is the stormiest planet in our Solar System with wind speeds reaching up to 1000 kmph.
- It is brighter than the brightest star in the sky (Sirius) and is the third brightest object visible to unaided eye after the Sun and Venus.
- NASA has sent a total of 8 unmanned space probes to collect information about Jupiter till date – Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2, Ulysses, Cassini-Huygens, New Horizons and Galileo. Another space-craft called Juno has been launched in 2011 and is scheduled reach the planet in 2016.
|Distance from Sun||778.5 million km|
|Distance from Earth||628,743,036 km (at their closest)|
|Orbital Period||11.86 Earth Years|
|Surface Area||61.42×109 km2|
|Surface Temperature||– 150 degrees Celsius|