Jupiter

Jupiter

Jupiter is the largest planet of the Solar System, it has two and a half times the mass of all the other planets combined.

Geography

Keywords

Jupiter, ring system, Solar System, gas giant, outer planet, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, moons of Jupiter, planet, Sun, astronomy, geography

Related items

Scenes

Solar System

  • Sun
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun, second from the Earth, the closest of the outer planets. It is the largest planet in the Solar System, its diameter is 142,984 km. It has two and a half times the mass of all the other planets combined. It is a gas giant, it does not have a solid surface.

Jupiter

  • axis of rotation
  • line perpendicular to the orbital plane
  • orbital plane of Jupiter
  • orbit of Jupiter
  • equator of Jupiter
  • 3.13°
  • ring system

Data:

Diameter: 142,984 km (11.2 Earths)

Mass: 1.90x10²⁷ kg (317.8 Earths)

Average density: 1.33 g/cm³

Surface gravity: 2.364 g

Surface temperature: -130 °C

Number of moons: 79

Rotation period: 9 h 50 m

Axial tilt: 3.1°

Average distance from the Sun:
778,300,000 km = 5.20 AU =
43.5 light minutes

Orbital eccentricity: 0.0484

Orbital period: 11.86 years

Io

Io:

Average distance from Jupiter:
421,800 km

Orbital period: 1.77 days

Diameter: 3,642.6 km (0.286 Earths)

Mass: 8.9319x10²² kg

Average density: 3.53 g/cm³

Surface gravity: 0.183 g

Europa

Europa:

Average distance from Jupiter:
671,100 km

Orbital period: 3.55 days

Diameter: 3,121.6 km (0.245 Earths)

Mass: 4.8x10²² kg

Average density: 3.01 g/cm³

Surface gravity: 0.134 g

Ganymede

Ganymede:

Average distance from Jupiter:
1,070,400 km

Orbital period: 7.16 days

Diameter: 5,262 km (0.413 Earths)

Mass: 1.48x10²³ kg

Average density: 1.94 g/cm³

Surface gravity: 0.146 g

Callisto

Callisto:

Average distance from Jupiter:
1,882,700 km

Orbital period: 16.69 days

Diameter: 4,820.6 km (0.378 Earths)

Mass: 1.08x10²³ kg

Average density: 1.83 g/cm³

Surface gravity: 0.126 g

Section of Jupiter

  • atmosphere - Jupiter has a 1,000 km thick atmosphere.
  • layer of liquid hydrogen - Hydrogen is constantly transforming from gas into liquid state.
  • layer of metallic hydrogen - The core is surrounded by a layer of metallic hydrogen of about 52,000 km in thickness.
  • core - Jupiter probably has a solid one with a mass of 12 Earth masses.

Orbit of Jupiter

  • Jupiter
  • Sun
  • average distance from the Sun: 778,300,000 km
  • orbital period: 11.86 years
  • the orbit of the Jupiter

Animation

  • Sun
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • axis of rotation
  • line perpendicular to the orbital plane
  • orbital plane of Jupiter
  • orbit of Jupiter
  • equator of Jupiter
  • 3.13°
  • ring system
  • atmosphere - Jupiter has a 1,000 km thick atmosphere.
  • layer of liquid hydrogen - Hydrogen is constantly transforming from gas into liquid state.
  • layer of metallic hydrogen - The core is surrounded by a layer of metallic hydrogen of about 52,000 km in thickness.
  • core - Jupiter probably has a solid one with a mass of 12 Earth masses.
  • Jupiter
  • Sun
  • average distance from the Sun: 778,300,000 km
  • orbital period: 11.86 years
  • the orbit of the Jupiter

Narration

Apart from the Sun and the Moon, Jupiter is the brightest celestial body after Venus. It was named after the chief god of Roman mythology, who was the god of the sky, daylight and storms, as well as the king of the gods. He was the equivalent of Zeus, who was the chief god in Greek mythology, the lord of gods and of men, leader of the Olympian gods; his name means ‘bright sky’.

Galileo was the first to observe the planet through his telescope in 1610. He also discovered Jupiter’s four largest moons, which have since been named the Galilean moons, in honour of their discoverer.

The first mission to Jupiter was by the Pioneer 10 space probe in 1973. Jupiter has also been regularly observed by the Hubble space telescope. In 1995, an atmospheric probe was launched from Galileo into the planet’s atmosphere. It penetrated 150 km deep, collecting and sending data before it was destroyed by the high pressure (22 atmospheres) and the high temperature (153 °C).

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun, second from the Earth, and the closest of the outer planets. It is the largest planet in the Solar System, with a diameter of 142,984 km. It has two and half times the mass of all the other planets combined.

Jupiter is a gas giant, so it does not have a solid surface. Its average density is low (1.33 g/cm³). Under the visible cloud layer is a 1,000 km thick atmosphere rich in hydrogen, below which, where the pressure may be a million times as great as that of the Earth, there might be a 25,000 km deep ocean of molecular liquid hydrogen (according to models). Jupiter’s atmosphere consists of hydrogen (90%) and helium, but it also contains traces of methane, ammonia and water vapour. The bands alternate in colour, and the winds within the different belts and zones have different speeds, creating vortices. The Great Red Spot is a vast anticyclonic storm (the Earth would fit inside). It was observed as early as 300 years ago. During the past few years, a number of comets and asteroids have struck Jupiter. An analysis of their traces has led to certain assumptions about Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Out of all the planets, the rotation of Jupiter is the fastest. It has a powerful magnetosphere, ten times as strong as the Earth’s. The magnetic axis of Jupiter is tilted 10° from the axis of rotation. Some of the images taken by the Hubble telescope show aurorae on Jupiter. The planet radiates twice as much heat as it receives from the Sun; the amount of heat produced inside the planet is similar to the total solar radiation it receives, which is probably due to the potential energy emitted during the slow shrinking of the planet. The core temperature of Jupiter is around 26,000 K.

Jupiter has a ring system made up of dark dust particles, which is less than 30 km in thickness. The moons of Jupiter were named after lovers and favourites of Zeus in Greek mythology. The four largest ones are the Galilean moons: these are Io, Ganymede, Europa and Callisto. They orbit Jupiter at its equatorial plane, and have nearly circular orbits. The first detailed images of their surface were provided by the Voyager space probes.

There is strong volcanic activity on Io; its surface features a varied topography of calderas, mountains and lakes of molten sulphur. Io is mainly composed of rock, and thus its composition is similar to the terrestrial planets.

The surface of Europa is covered with thick, smooth ice, with streaks crisscrossing the entire surface. There is probably a liquid ocean under the ice layer, kept liquid by tidally generated heat. It is similar to terrestrial planets in structure and composition.

Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system. Its diameter is slightly greater than that of Mercury, but it is only half as dense as that planet. Its surface features dark areas with craters and younger, lighter, tectonically more active areas. The crust of Ganymede is composed of ice.

There are no distinct layers inside Callisto. According to data provided by the Galileo space probe, it consists of ice (40%) as well as rock and iron (60%). Callisto’s surface is the oldest in the solar system; it has not changed much in the past 4 billion years.

Related items

Planets, sizes

The inner planets of the Solar System are terrestrial planets while the outer planets are gas giants.

The life-cycle of the Solar System

The formation of the Sun and the planets started with the contraction of a dust cloud about 4.5 billion years ago.

Comets

Comets are spectacular celestial bodies orbiting the Sun.

Earth

The Earth is a rocky planet with a solid crust and oxygen in its atmosphere.

Galileo Galilei's workshop

Galileo Galilei's scientific achievements contributed greatly to the advancement of physics and astronomy.

Interesting astronomy facts

This animation presents some interesting facts in the field of astronomy.

Kepler´s laws of planetary motion

The three important laws describing planetary motion were formulated by Johannes Kepler.

Mars

Possible traces of water and life are sought on Mars.

Mars Exploration Program

Space probes and Mars rovers examine the structure of Mars and possible traces of life.

Mercury

Mercury is innermost and smallest planet of the Solar System.

Milky Way

The diameter of our galaxy is about 100,000 light years; it contains more than 100 billion stars, one of which is our Sun.

Neptune

Neptune is the outermost planet of the Solar System, the smallest of the giant planets

Pluto - Charon system

The largest satellite of Pluto is Charon.

Satellite types

Satellites orbiting the Earth can be used for civilian or military purposes.

Saturn

Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System, easily recognisable by its rings.

Sputnik 1 (1957)

The Soviet-made satellite was the first spacecraft to be launched into outer space (in October 1957).

The Cassini-Huygens Mission (1997-2017)

The Cassini spacecraft was exploring Saturn and its moons for nearly 20 years.

The Dawn mission

Studying Ceres and Vesta will help us learn more about the early history of the Solar System and how rocky planets are formed.

The development of celestial mechanics

This animation introduces the studies of astronomers and physicists whose works fundamentally changed our view of the universe.

The Moon

The Moon is the Earth's only natural satellite

The New Horizons mission

The New Horizons space probe was launched in 2006, with the objective to study Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.

The Solar System; planetary orbits

The orbits of the 8 planets in our Solar System are elliptical.

The Sun

The diameter of the Sun is about 109 times that of the Earth. Most of its mass consists of hydrogen.

Uranus

Uranus is the 7th planet from the Sun, a gas giant.

Venus

Venus is the 2nd planet from the Sun, the brightest object on the night sky (after the Moon).

Added to your cart.