Jupiter

Planet of the Solar System, fifth from the Sun. It is the largest planet in our solar system and is one of the four outer planets, which are gas planets. Jupiter is mostly hydrogen but also helium.

Jupiter facts

Known for it’s Great Red Spot, which is a large anti-cyclonic storm. From Earth, it can be seen by the naked eye and is the fourth brightest object in the sky (after Sun, Moon, and Venus), though competes with Mars for this position at times. It has numerous moons (79 known at the time of writing).

Metrics

Diameter: 88.700 miles (142,700 km)

Rotation: 9.92hrs

Distance from Sun is 483,700,000 miles (778,400,000 km)

It takes 11.86 years for Jupiter to revolve once around the Sun.

Jupiter’s moons

As at writing, Jupiter has 79 known moons with 53 of them named. The main four are the Galilean moons. These are the largest and easily seen through a home telescope for viewing planets. The Galilean moons are  Ganymede, Io, Callisto, and Europa and have been known from as far back as 1610, when discovered by Galileo.

Jupiter's moons illustration

 

Jupiter’s Rings

Compared to Saturn’s, the rings of Jupiter are much fainter to observe. They are made of dust mostly. Jupiter has these for ring components: an inner halo, a bright but thin main ring, and two gossamer outer rings. Like Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s are slowly dissipating.

Related article

« Back to Glossary Index