Jupiter is the giant gaseous planet. It is the fifth planet from the sun and largest in the solar system. It is 778 million km (5.2AU) Away from the sun.
Jupiter is a gas giant and it is made mostly from hydrogen and helium. It is covered in swirling cloud stripes. This gas giant has big storms named the Great Red Spot, which has been going for a hundred years. Dozens of moons are orbiting the Planet and Some of them are bigger than some Solar Planet.
Day and Year
The solar day on Jupiter is the shortest day in the solar system. It just takes 9 hours 56 minutes to complete one rotation about its own axis. It takes 12 earth’s years (4333 earth days) to complete one orbit around the sun.
The axial tilt of this planet is relatively small: only 3.13°. As a result, it does not experience significant seasonal changes.
Surface and Structure
Jupiter is composed primarily of gaseous and liquid matter. It has no solid surface like the Earth and Mars. When someone tries to land on Jupiter, they will found no surface for landing or even they wouldn’t fly through Planet gas. The extreme pressure and temperature deep inside the planet crush, melt and vaporize the spacecraft try to fly into the planet.
Jupiter’s composition is similar to that of the sun – mostly hydrogen and helium. It contains 88–92% Hydrogen and 8-12% helium by percentage volume of gas molecules. But by mass Hydrogen is 75% and Helium is 24%. The pressure and Temperature, deep inside the Jupiter is very high, which makes hydrogen gas into liquid hydrogen. This gives it the largest ocean in the solar system- An ocean made of liquid hydrogen instead of water.
The temperature and pressure increase steadily inside deep of Jupiter. The temperature is around 67oC, at a pressure level of 10 bars. Inside the Planet where hydrogen gas becomes metallic hydrogen; temperature is around 9700oC and pressure is 200 GPa. The temperature at the core boundary is estimated to be 50,000oC and pressure is roughly 3000-4500 GPa.
Size and Distance
The mean radius of Jupiter is 69,911 km, about 11 times wider than earth.
Jupiter’s mass is 2.5 times that of all the other planets in the solar system combine – this is so massive that it’s bury center with sun lies above the sun’s surface at 1.068 solar radii from the sun’s center. It is 318 times (1.9 x 1027 kg) massive than the earth.
It is so much big, that 1321 earth fit inside it. Its volume is 1.4313×1015 km3.
It’s surface gravity is 2.528 times the earth’s surface gravity i.e.24.79 m/s2.
From an average distance of 484 million miles (778 million km), Jupiter is 5.2 astronomical units away from the Sun. From this distance, Sunlight takes 43 minutes to travel from the Sun to Jupiter.
As we know It has no solid surface, the base of its atmosphere is usually considered to be the point at which atmospheric pressure is equal to 100 kPa (1.0 bar). It is always covered with clouds with a distinct layer of thickness 70 km. The cloud composes of ammonia ice, Ammonium hydro sulfide crystals, and water ice & vapor. The orange and brown coloration in the clouds of Jupiter are caused by upwelling compounds that change color when they are exposed to ultraviolet rays of the sun.
The best known feature of Jupiter is the Great Red Spot. It is a cloud of oval shape. It is two times wider than earth and to be visible through earth – based telescopes with an aperture of 12 cm. This swirling cloud rotates in anti clockwise with a period of six days.
Orbital and escape velocity
Average orbital speed of Jupiter is 13.07km/s (0.4388 earth’s orbital speed) and its escape velocity is 59.5 km/s (5.32 earth’s escape velocity).
Jupiter has strongest magnetic field in the solar system and it is 16- 54 times stronger than earth’s magnetic field. This vast magnetic field is generated by liquid metallic hydrogen core.
The magnetosphere of Jupiter is extending up to seven million km in the sun’s directions and almost to orbit of the Saturn in the opposite direction.
We can see most fascinating aurorae in Jupiter’s pole cause by Jupiter’s magnetic field.
It has 79 known natural satellites, out of these, 63 are less than 10km in diameter, but four moons is known as the Galilean moon – Lo, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto are the largest moons are all over 3200 km of diameter, which is visible from earth with binoculars on a clear night.
Ganymede is the ninth largest object in the solar system after the sun and seven of the planets, in fact, it is being larger than the planet mercury.
The orbit of Lo, Europa, and Ganymede form a pattern called Laplace resonance for every four orbits that Io makes around Jupiter, Europa makes exactly two orbits and Ganymede makes exactly one.
Jupiter has a faint planetary ring system, discovered in 1979 by NASA Voyager 1 spacecraft. They are composed of small, dark particles of dust rather than ice as with the Saturn’s ring. The main ring is probably made of material ejected from the satellites Adrastea and Metis.
Jupiter does not support life. The temperature & pressure, and materials of the planet too extreme and volatile to adopt life.
But in just over decades spacecraft exploring the life on Jupiter’s moon “Europa”.
From 1970 several spacecraft visited Jupiter. In 1610 Galileo Galilei discovered the four largest moons of Jupiter using a telescope. From this discovery ended the old concept; ancient belief that everything, including the Sun and other planets, orbited the Earth.
Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to fly past Jupiter and obtained the first close-up images of Jupiter’s atmosphere and several of its moons. After that voyager mission vastly improved the understanding of the Galilean moons and discovered Jupiter’s rings. During the fly by a maneuver to attain a solar orbit around the sun, the Ulysses solar probe conducted studies on Jupiter’s magnetosphere. In 2000, the Cassini probe flew by the planet on its way to Saturn and provided some of the highest-resolution images ever made of the planet. The New Horizon probe uses Jupiter’s immense gravity to assist route to Pluto.
NASA Galileo spacecraft was the first to orbit Jupiter entered orbit on December 7, 1995. It orbited the planet for over seven years, conducting multiple flybys of all the Galilean moons.
Currently, NASA Juno’s mission studies the planet in detail from a polar orbit. This spacecraft arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016 and was expected to complete thirty-seven orbits over the next twenty months.
The next planned mission to the Jovian system will be the European Space Agency’s Jupiter icy moon Explorer (JUICE) due to launch in 2022 followed by NASA’s Europa Clipper mission in 2023.
Jupiter is the God of Sky and thunder and king of gods in ancient Roman religion & mythology. According to Roman mythology, he is the son of Saturn and Ops. In the Greek-influenced tradition, he was the brother of Neptune and Pluto, the Roman equivalents of Poseidon and Hades respectively.
In Hindu mythology, Jupiter is known as Brihaspati. Brihaspati as Jupiter is part of the Navagarah in the Hindu zodiac system, considered auspicious and benevolent.
Thursday is considered to be the dedicated day for Brihaspati. According to Hindu mythology, praying to Brihaspati on Thursday provides astrological benefits.
Quick Discover :
Distance from the sun:
5.2 Astronomical unit
Average orbital speed:
Equatorial rotational velocity:
11.86 Earth Years
Potential for Life:
Image credit :
Image4: universe discover/aniket kumar
Image5: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill)
Image8: The Jupiter image was created from a map based on data obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope.(Image Credit:NASA/JPL/Cornell University, Public Domain,)