Jupiter is the largest and most massive planet of our solar system, so knowing the Jupiter facts is always fascinating. This planet can be seen from the earth in the night sky even with naked eyes.
The planet Jupiter has been observed by people of ancient civilizations and is named after the Roman God Jupiter. It is the third brightest natural object in the night sky (1st one is Moon and 2nd is Venus).
Physical characteristics of Jupiter:-
- Orbital period: 4332 days (11.9 years)
- Average orbital speed: 13.07 km/sec around the sun
- Mean radius: 69911 km
- Mass: 1.9 × 1027 kg (317.8 times of earth)
- Volume: 1.43 × 1015 km3 (1320 times of earth)
- Average density: 1.33 gm/cm3
- Surface gravity: 24.8 m/sec2 (2.52 times of earth)
- Escape velocity: 59.5 km/sec
- Average surface temperature: -148 °C
- Moons: 79 known moons
Without Jupiter human life would be difficult to survive on the earth, but why is this so, why Jupiter is so important to us? To know all we are here going to learn about the most interesting Jupiter facts and other information.
⇒ Jupiter has the shortest day
Planet Jupiter has the shortest day in the solar system compared to all other planets. It completes one revolution around its axis in 9 hours and 55 minutes only. So this is the only planet in our solar system that completes a day within 10 hours.
⇒ Its moon Ganymede is larger than the planet Mercury
Ganymede is almost 8% larger than Mercury with a mean radius of 2634 km. It takes almost 7 earth days to complete one orbit around the planet Jupiter. The mass of the moon Ganymede is 1.5 × 1023 kg and it is the only known moon that has a magnetic field.
⇒ Jupiter is the most massive planet
One of the best Jupiter facts is that it is the most massive planet in our solar system. The mass of Jupiter is approximately 318 times of the earth. Whereas the average density of Jupiter is slightly lower than the planet earth(almost 4 times lower than the earth).
Jupiter has a mass of 1.9 × 1027 kg and it is approximately 1/1046th times of the sun. This planet is a gas giant planet and has a volume of around 1.45 × 1015 km3. The volume of Jupiter is more than 1300 times greater than our earth but the mass is only 318 times of the earth. It is because Jupiter is a gas giant planet that has a low density.
⇒ The great red spot is the largest storm
If you look at the picture of Jupiter, you will see a red spot. You know this red spot is the largest storm in our solar system! This storm is known as the great red spot of planet Jupiter. The wind speed in this storm is more than 500 km/hr, it is twice comparable to earth’s strongest hurricanes.
It was first seen in the 17th century by Giovanni Domenico Cassini and it has existed for more than 350 years in the atmosphere of Jupiter. According to scientists, it has started shrinking and the present size of this storm is 1.3 times larger than the diameter of the earth. Whereas in the 19th century, the size of its longitudinal extent was more than 3 times the earth’s diameter.
⇒ Planet Jupiter has rings
You must have known about the rings of planet Saturn and may have heard about the Uranus ring system. But you know Planet Jupiter also has a ring system and it is known as the rings of Jupiter or Jovian ring system.
Rings of Jupiter was first discovered by NASA’s spacecraft Voyager 1 in 1979. These rings are faint and mostly made of dust particles of its moons. The dust particles for creating the rings are ejected from the moons of Jupiter and the impact of meteors.
⇒ It is 3rd brightest object in the night sky
The brightest natural object in the night sky is our Moon. But Planet Jupiter is the 3rd brightest natural object after the moon and planet Venus.
⇒ The largest atmosphere of the solar system
Gas giant planets do not have a solid surface like terrestrial planets have. They are made up of gases and also have an atmosphere of low density. Planet Jupiter has the largest planetary atmosphere in our solar system.
These atmospheres are mostly made of Hydrogen and Helium. But also other compounds are present in small quantities like Ammonia, Methane, Water, and Hydrogen sulfide in the atmosphere of the Jupiter. The atmospheric altitude on Jupiter is up to 5000 km but it does not have any clear end boundary. It has the same atmospheric layers as the earth has like troposphere, stratosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere. It does not have a layer mesosphere, unlike the earth.
(know more here about 5 layers of the atmosphere of earth)
⇒ Jupiter has 79 known moons
Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei discovered 4 massive moons of planet Jupiter in 1610. Whereas 79 Jovian moons have been discovered till now. The moons Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto are called Galilean Moons in which Ganymede is the largest known moon of our solar system.
These Galilean moons consist of more than 99% mass of Jupiter’s orbiting objects, while the other 75 moons and ring system of Jupiter only consist of 0.003% mass.
⇒ Its one year is equal to 11.9 earth years
Planet Jupiter takes 11.9 years to complete one orbit around the sun. So this orbiting period is called a Jovian year.
⇒ Jupiter is 2.5 times heavier than all planets combined
Jupiter is the largest planet of the solar system with a mass of 1.9 × 1027 kg and almost 318 times heavier than earth. In our solar system, Jupiter’s maas is 2.5 times heavier than the mass of the all other combined planets.
⇒ Jupiter is the 5th planet from the sun
According to distance, Jupiter is the 5th planet from the sun. The average distance between the sun and Jupiter is approximately 778 million km.
⇒ It has the strongest magnetic field in all planets
The magnetic field of planet Jupiter is the strongest in our solar system with almost 4.2 Gauss at the equator and an average of 12 Gauss at poles. This magnetic field is generated by swirling movements of conducting materials and liquid metallic hydrogen atoms. The magnetic field of the planet Jupiter is 14 times stronger than the magnetic field on the earth.
The location of the magnetosphere of Jupiter reaches up to 75 Jupiter radii. Even four Galilean moons of Jupiter orbit within its magnetosphere. And thus it has the strongest magnetosphere compare to all objects in our solar system except the sun.
- Also Read: Magnetosphere of the Earth
⇒ 1300 earth can fit inside Jupiter planet
The volume of the earth is around 1.08 × 1012 km3, whereas the volume of the Jupiter is approximately 1.45 × 1015 km3. If we consider Jupiter as a hollow then it would be possible to fit more than 1300 earth inside it.
⇒ Jupiter helps life to survive on earth
Due to Jupiter’s strong gravity, it deflects the comets and asteroids coming towards the earth.
⇒ The rotation at the equator and at polar are different
One of the interesting Jupiter facts is that the rotation speed at the equator of the planet is different than a rotational speed at the poles. The rotation of the polar atmosphere is almost 5 minutes longer than the atmospheric rotation at the equator. A Jovian day on the poles is 9hr 55m, whereas a day on the equator is almost 9hr 50m.
⇒ Largest ocean of liquid hydrogen
This planet contains more than 90% Hydrogen and it has the largest ocean of liquid metallic hydrogen atoms. Because of these hydrogen atoms, planet Jupiter creates a strong magnetic field inside it.
⇒ Jupiter is known as the ‘winter planet’
Planet Jupiter is known as the ‘winter planet’ because of its low average temperature of -148°C.
These were some interesting and informative Jupiter facts. I hope you have liked it. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding Jupiter facts, comment on us.
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