Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, capable of holding all the other planets together. The planet is named after ‘Jupiter’, the king of the Roman gods. Jupiter's clouds have light colored bands, known as ‘zones’ and dark colored bands called ‘belts’. Due to its intense gravitational pull, it attracts comets and other rocky materials towards its atmosphere. In effect, it is also known as 'solar system's vacuum cleaner'. Moreover, it is believed that Jupiter was once a star, which failed to emit light. No one is clear about when Jupiter was discovered. It is believed, that Jupiter was visible from the naked eye much before astronomical instruments were even built. However, a few records point out that the planet may have been discovered in the Babylonian times, back in 7th or 8th century BC. If these facts have already captured your attention, for some more interesting and fun facts about Jupiter go through the following lines.
Equatorial Diameter: 142,984 km
Polar Diameter: 133,540 km
Volume: 1.4313×1015 km
Density: 1.326 g/cm
Chemical Composition: Hydrogen, Helium, Methane, Ammonia, Hydrogen deuteride, Ethane, Water, Ammonium hydrosulfide
Revolution Time: 11.86 Earth years
Rotation Time: 9 hours 55 minutes
Number Of Moons: 63
Discovered In: 7th or 8th century BC
Named After: The King of Gods, Jupiter
Number Of Rings: 4
Distance From Earth: 4.2 AU to 6.2 AU
Planetary Expeditions: Flyby and Galileo missions
Interesting & Fun Facts About Jupiter
- In our solar system, Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun.
- A scientific record says that Jupiter is as many as 778,330,000 km away from the Sun.
- Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system.
- Though Jupiter is the largest planet, it rotates extremely fast on its orbit, taking only 9 hours 55 minutes to complete one rotation.
- Jupiter takes nearly 12 earth years to revolve around the sun.
- The planet has the shortest day in our Solar System, extending up to only 10 hours.
- The planet is the fourth brightest object to be seen in the sky, after Sun, Venus and Mars.
- Unlike Earth, Mars, Venus and Mercury, Jupiter is not a terrestrial planet.
- Jupiter is a gaseous planet, which is held together by a massive gravity field.
- Jupiter primarily consists of hydrogen, nitrogen, helium and water.
- At the center, Jupiter has a small metal core that is made of liquid hydrogen, surrounded by vast expanse of hydrogen and helium gas.
- The atmosphere of Jupiter consists of intense wind patterns, running horizontally across the planet.
- Jupiter's Giant Red Spot is a storm, which is brewing for over 300 years.
- The Giant Red Spot of Jupiter is about 2 Earth diameters wide.
- Jupiter has 16 big satellites and many other smaller satellites as well.
- Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto are the largest Galilean satellites of Jupiter and came to be known so, when they were discovered by Galileo way back in 1610.
- Ganymede is the largest Galilean satellite of Jupiter.
- Till date, as many as 60 moons of Jupiter have been discovered.
- The effective temperature of Jupiter is -148 °C, which is equivalent to -234 °F.
- It was the Voyager 1 spacecraft that discovered Jupiter’s ring.
- Jupiter has three thin rings around its equator, which are primarily made of smoke-sized particles and dust.
- According to scientific studies, it is discovered that Jupiter’s core is very thick, just like a super-hot soup.
- Jupiter's mass is 318 times larger than that of the Earth.
- The density of Jupiter is 1/4th to that of the Earth.
- Jupiter has the strongest pull of gravity amongst all the planets of the Solar System.
- It is believed that there is an area beneath the upper cloud layer of Jupiter, which would be just as hot as the room temperature on Earth.
- The clouds on Jupiter are 50 km thick and are made of ammonia crystals and cloud decks.
- Jupiter’s magnetic field is 14 times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field and is generated by the movements of metallic hydrogen in the core of the planet.
- Jupiter can be spotted with a naked eye. Yes, since the planet is the third brightest body in the solar system, Jupiter is almost always visible. If you spot a really bright star in the sky, chances are you are seeing Jupiter.