Fun Facts About the Planet Jupiter
Are you interested in planets, and would like to learn some fun facts about Jupiter?
Jupiter is the fifth planet away from the Sun in our Solar System. Humans have been observing Jupiter since the ancient times.
The planet was frequently associated with mythology, and Jupiter, King of the Roman Gods. However, a common mistake is that the god was named after the planet. The planet was actually named after the Roman God. Learn more fun facts about Jupiter!
- Jupiter is not primarily composed of solid matter like Earth or Mercury. Rather, Jupiter is one of the four gas giants of planets. It is actually the largest planet in our Solar System.
- At the equator of the planet, Jupiter has a diameter of one hundred and forty two thousand, nine hundred and eighty four kilometers. The diameter of Jupiter is about eleven times as great as the diameter of Earth.
- The volume of Jupiter is over a thousand times greater than Earth. It is located lower in the sky than any of the planets that are made of solid matter. Jupiter is more than twice the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined.
- Jupiter is usually the fourth brightest object in the sky at night. The three objects that are brighter than Jupiter are the Sun, the Moon, and Venus. Occasionally, Mars sometimes appears brighter than Jupiter.
- The composition of Jupiter’s upper atmosphere is primarily hydrogen. Approximately ninety percent of the upper atmosphere is hydrogen, and approximately ten percent of the upper atmosphere is helium.
- The inner atmosphere is also composed primarily of hydrogen, but a smaller percentage of hydrogen. Approximately seventy percent of the inner atmosphere is hydrogen, approximately twenty-five percent is helium, and approximately five percent is composed of a multitude of other elements.
Did You Know?
In the outer layer of the atmosphere, crystals of frozen ammonia have been found. The gas giant with the closest composition to Jupiter is Saturn.
The Great Red Spot
Another amazing feature of the planet Jupiter is the planet’s Great Red Spot. The Great Red Spot is a continual anticyclonic storm. It’s 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 since 1831.
The storm may have even existed since 1665. The hypothesis of some scientists is that the storm is actually stable, and thus might never cease. The storm is so large that it can be seen from Earth using telescopes. The storm rotates clockwise, and it takes approximately six days for the Great Red Spot to complete one rotation.
The Great Red Spot is not the only storm on Jupiter. There are a number of other unnamed storms on the planet, including some of the white spots and brown spots that can be seen in pictures. In fact, since 2000, another storm has formed, and this storm has been nicknamed “Red Spot Junior.”
Rings and Moons
Saturn is not the only planet with rings, and in fact, Jupiter has a planetary ring system as well as moons that orbit the planet. The three segments of the ring system are the halo, a bright middle ring, and then an outer gossamer ring.
Unlike Saturn’s ice ring, the rings of Jupiter appear to be composed of dust. It appears that one of the rings of Jupiter was formed from material that was ejected from two satellites, Adrastea and Metis.
As of 2010, Jupiter has 63 confirmed moons that orbit the planet. Jupiter, thus, has the largest amount of moons in the Solar System. The largest moons are referred to as the four Galilean moons. They are named because Galileo Galilee discovered the moons in 1610.
While these are some fun facts about Jupiter, there are many more. Continue to research this amazing planet on your own!