The Planet Jupiter is the LARGEST PLANET in our Solar System.
Jupiter has at least 63 moons and they include: Europa, Io, Callisto and Ganymede.
Jupiter was explored in flybys in the 1970s by NASA's Pioneer 10 and 11 and Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft, and is currently being studied by the
Facts about Planet Jupiter
85,788 miles the largest planet - more than 12 Earths could line
up across it
Range -163į C to >-121į C
* Distance from Sun:
Approximately 466 million miles
Mostly hydrogen and helium
A giant ball of mostly hydrogen and helium
* Rotation of its axis: 9
hours, 55 minutes in Earth time (the length of one rotation)
* Rotation around the Sun:
12 Earth years
* Magnetic Field:
* Number of Moons:
63 moons have been identified Ganymede is the largest moon - it is
bigger than both Mercury and Pluto
Jupiter Odyssey: The Story of
Nasa's Galileo Mission by David M.
Shoemaker by Levy by
David H. Levy
The Giant Planet Jupiter by
John H. Rogers
The Italian scientist, Galileo
Galilei was the first astronomer to view Jupiter through a telescope. While
viewing Jupiter, he observed four satellites orbiting the planet, which lent
credence to the Copernican theory that the Earth and other planets revolve
around the Sun. Previously, many people held to the belief, developed by 2nd
century astronomer, Ptolemy, that everything revolved around the Earth.
Galileo's discovery was a major step forward for astronomy. Jupiter's satellites
are mostly named for his mythological lovers.
In May 2002, astronomers announced an
additional 11 moons for Planet Jupiter. All 11 are small bodies with diameters estimated to be between 2 and 4 kms. The moons are inclined, highly elliptical retrograde orbits with an average
distance of 21 million kms. from the giant planet. The number of moons now known to orbit Jupiter are 39 and makes it the planet with the most moons.
These discoveries have been possible by a new generation of electronic cameras that can scan wide areas of the sky and detect dim objects, making them very
efficient tools to search for small moons.
Jupiter: The United States has sent six space probes to Jupiter:
(December 1973) (2) Pioneer
(December 1974) (3) Voyager 1 (1979) (4) Voyager 2 (1979)
(5) Ulysses (February 1992) and (6)
In December 1995,
NASA's Galileo spacecraft dropped a probe into Jupiter's
atmosphere, which collected the first direct measurements of the
Cassini made a
flyby in 2000 on its way to Saturn. NASAís New Horizons spacecraft
made its flyby in 2007.
In March 1993, astronomers Eugene
Shoemaker, Carolyn Shoemaker, and David H. Levy discovered a comet
Astronomers witnessed a
spectacular event when 21 fragments of a comet named
Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter's atmosphere. The impacts
caused tremendous explosions, some scattering debris over areas
larger than the diameter of Earth.
Jupiter has three thin
rings around its equator. They are much
fainter than the rings of Saturn.
Jupiter canít ever become a Star
Jupiter is the
fastest spinning planet in the Solar System.
magnetic field is 14 times as strong as Earth
You can see Jupiter with your own eyes
usually the fourth brightest object in the sky at night and in our
in the Solar System. The three objects that are brighter than
Jupiter are the Sun, the Moon and Venus. Occasionally, Mars
sometimes appears brighter than Jupiter.
ninety percent of the upper atmosphere is hydrogen, and
approximately ten percent of the upper atmosphere is helium.
Amazing as it
may seem scientists have speculated that life on Jupiter is
possible. This would occur beneath the cloud cover where room
temperature conditions exist, these lifeforms would be airborne
although this theory is thought to be highly speculative.
Because of the
giant size of Jupiter, the gravity there is 2.4 times more than on
Earth. If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would feel like you
weighed 240 pounds on Jupiter.
From The Sun
almost 500 million miles from the Sun (483,780,000 miles). Earth
is only 93 million miles from the Sun. Even though Jupiter is the
largest planet in the Solar System, this is why it still looks so
Great Red Spot
is a continual anticyclonic storm. Itís located twenty two degrees
south of the equator. The storm alone is actually larger than the
planet Earth, or the planet Mercury. According to astronomers,
there is evidence that the storm existed on the planet at least
Scientists use the planet's gravity to accelerate spacecraft so
they can reach Saturn, Uranus and Neptune
The Planet Jupiter Links:
Inormation on Jupiter:
Project Galileo: NASA's
JPL Home Page
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