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What you need to know about Jupiter?

 Knowledge Center

There is some information about Jupiter but it still remains largely an unexplored planet. 

You may be aware that there is a planet by the name Jupiter but you may not be aware that it has been there since very ancient times.

There are  facts about Jupiter that have been shard out there on the internet. These facts can help you to increase your understanding and knowledge about this interesting planet.

So what do you know about Jupiter?

Here, we want you to learn about Jupiter, the origin of the name Jupiter, what can we find on Jupiter and other facts that we will find about this planet as we go along on our journey. 

Essentially, in Astrology, Jupiter is known as a gas planet or the planet of plenty. In various parts of the world, you will come across people with different beliefs about this planet. 

Jupiter has  been associated with good luck and bounty. It is been known as a planet of broader purpose, possibility and reaches. 



The origins of the name Jupiter?


Jupiter has existed since the ancient times, and how it got its name can be a point of interest for many people. Although Jupiter has had many names throughout history.

Since the Roman empire had a great influence over a number of societies,  the Romans have been recorded as having named the planet, after their king of gods, known by the name Jupiter. Jupiter was also the god of the sky and thunder.

Romans chose to name the planet Jupiter because it was seen as the largest object in the sky, and thus it was thought to be very powerful.

Jupiter, the king of gods in Roman mythology had the power to preside over the heavens and light. He was actually responsible for the protection of the laws of the Roman state.

Initially, in the Roman mythology, Jupiter began as the god of the sky who was responsible for wine festivals and was associated with the sacred oak of the Capitol.

As time went on, Jupiter eventually became the god of war after he was attributed the spoils of war.

Romans believed that he was the source of luck, and thus he made armies to fight and become victorious against their enemies.

Today, you may across people pin some societies studying the planet Jupiter in order to identify their luck.

Since ancient times, many celestial bodies have been given names that originate from Roman or Greek mythology. Along with names, they have also had their astronomical shapes from these two mythologies.

If you do more research about planet Jupiter, you will find out that the planet itself is a mystery that is not well unravelled by the scientists.



Jupiter the Planet

 Knowledge Center

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and is actually by far the largest planet in the solar system. In fact, it is more than twice the size of all other planets combined.

Jupiter is made up almost entirely of gas. It has beautiful stripes and swirls that are cold. It also has windy clouds of ammonia and water.

The planet Jupiter does not have a solid surface like that of earth and actually floats in an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium.

According to a picture taken by the Voyage 2, Jupiter was seen to be having an iconic Great Red Spot which is known to be a giant storm that is actually bigger than Earth. This storm has raged for more than 350 years.

The planet is also surrounded by 79 moons, in which the largest ones are four known as the Galilean satellites. These four moons were discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610 and they include Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

The Great Red Spot was discovered to be a giant spinning storm. It is similar to a hurricane on Earth, but it is large enough to the extent that three Earths would fit within its boundaries.

The storm moves in a counterclockwise direction and can make a complete rotation about every six Earth days.

It is believed that life could not exist in the planet Jupiter due to its very cold temperatures and its surface which is actually an ocean of liquid hydrogen,  this surface of liquid hydrogen is actually believed to be as much as 10,000 miles deep.


Size and Distance of the Planet Jupiter


Planet Jupiter, as aforementioned, is the largest planet in the solar system with a radius f 43,440.7 miles which is actually 11 times the width of Earth.  Jupiter is so massive that it could hold more than 1,300 Earths. 

 Jupiter is 5.2 astronomical units away from the sun, given this distance, it therefore, takes sunlight 43 minutes to reach Jupiter from the sun.


Jupiter’s Atmosphere


Jupiter appears to be having a colourful cloud of bands and spots. The atmosphere of this gigantic planet is mostly hydrogen and helium. It is likely that this planet has three cloud layers in its skies.

The top cloud is believed to be comprised of ammonia ice, the middle layer is likely to be comprised of ammonia hydrosulfide crystals, while the third or the innermost layer is comprised of water ice and vapour.

It is highly likely that the colourful bands of across Jupiter which appear to so vivid could be made up of plumes of gases that contain sulfur and phosphorus  which rise from the innermost layer of the planet which is warmer.

Jupiter makes a fast rotation, which is about 9.8 hours. This fast rotation leads to the formation of massive jet streams which separate the clouds into dark belts or bands and bright zones across extensive stretches.

Jupiter has the Great Red Spot which has been observed for more than 300 years. Just recently, three smaller ovals merged together to form one Little Red Sport which is about half the size of the Great Red Spot.

It has not yet been established if these spots are just on the outer layer of the planet or they are deep into the interior of the planet.


Jupiter’s moons

 Knowledge Center

Jupiter has 79 moons. Of the 79 moons, there are 4 largest moons which are referred to as the Galilean Satellite, which the scientists are more concerned about.

The four of Jupiter’s largest moons are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. All of them were discovered by astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1610 using the first version of the telescope.

Ganymede is actually the largest moon in the solar system, with a size larger than that of Mercury and Pluto. It is believed to be the only moon with its own magnetic field. it is likely that it has several layers, but the most common ones are the layers of ice between which there is a thick ocean.

The Io is known as the most volcanically active celestial body in the solar system. The volcanoes emit sulfur which gives this moon a characteristic blotted yellow-orange appearance.

Io obtains heat for volcanic activity as it orbits around Jupiter whose immense gravity leads to the creation of tides in Io’s solid surface that rise about 300 feet high.

The frozen crust of Europa has a liquid water ocean which could support life, and this moon the Europa presents a good opportunity for exploration. In fact, it is believed that it could hold liquid water ocean twice as much water as Earth does.

Calisto reflects the least among the four largest Jupiter moons. Therefore, it is likely that its surface is comprised of dark and colourless rock.



The Jupiter Rings

 Knowledge Center

Jupiter has three things that were discovered by the NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft around the planet’s equator in 1979.

The rings are not as bright as of those of Saturn since they are composed of small, dark particles that are difficult to see unless when they are backlit by the sun.

The main ring appears to be flat and is about 20 miles thick and more than 4,000 miles wide. The inner cloud ring is known as the Halo is about 12,000 miles thick.

The third ring is known as Gossamer ring due to its transparency and is likely to be composed of three rings of microscopic debris which mainly come from three of Jupiter’s moons including Amalthea, Thebe and Adrastea.



Jupiter’s Magnetic Field


Jupiter has a very huge magnetic field that is almost 20,000 times as powerful as Earth’s. In Jupiter’s Magnetosphere, there are plenty of charged particles.

The magnetosphere balloons 600,000 to 2 million miles towards the sun and tapers into a tadpole-shaped tail that extends more than 600,000 miles behind Jupiter, as far as the orbit of Saturn.



Earth vs Jupiter

 Knowledge Center

Earth and Jupiter have very distinct differences. Both are part of the solar system, but Earth is more solid than rocky while Jupiter is actually known as the gas planet. It is actually the largest gas planet in the solar system.

In terms of mass, Jupiter is 300 times heavier than Earth and has 100 times larger surface area than Earth.

A typical day on Earth is 24 hours, while  in Jupiter those hours are  equivalent to only 10 hours. Therefore, Jupiter rotates much faster than the Earth.

Here on Earth, we consider the year to be 365 days. Planet Jupiter actually takes 11.8618 Earth years to complete an orbit around the sun. therefore, a year in Jupiter is equivalent to 4,332.59 Earth days.

Earth has an axial tilt of 23.5°, Jupiter has an axial tilt of only 3°.




Jupiter is a tempting planet to explore due to its many fascinating aspects. In fact, there have been seven missions that have flown by Jupiter.

Two of the seven missions- NASA’s Galileo and Juno missions- have made a complete orbit of the planet.

The missions have made various discoveries that have continued to guide scientists in their study of this amazing planet.


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  • Has Jupiter ever been landed on? Have people ever actually explored the planet first hand? I have been staying up to date with everything Mars recently but I have neglected the other planets, unfortunately.

    Lemmy W. on

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