Facts About Jupiter

The Planet Jupiter

The Planet Jupiter

I thought it was about time we talked about Jupiter.  Jupiter is, after all, the biggest planet in our Solar System.  In fact, it’s almost big enough to be a star!  Let’s explore some facts about Jupiter.

Jupiter Facts:

  • Jupiter is the fifth planet from our sun – Sol
  • It is a gas giant with a mass of about 1/1000th of the Sun
  • Jupiter is so big that all of the other planets in the solar system could fit inside of it
  • Jupiter is named after the Roman god Jupiter
  • On average, it is the third brightest object in the night sky – can you guess the two brightest?
  • Jupiter’s atmosphere is composed primarily of hydrogen and helium
  • Jupiter has 62 known moons
  • Jupiter’s four largest moons are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto
  • Jupiter has the strongest magnetic field in the solar system
  • Jupiter spins or rotates faster than any other planet that we know of
  • Jupiter’s day is only about 10 hours long
  • Jupiter does have rings – there are three of them but they are very thin
  • The most famous feature on the surface of Jupiter’s clouds is the Great Red Spot
  • Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to send information about Jupiter back to Earth
  • Jupiter has been called the vacuum cleaner of the Solar System because it’s strong gravity attracts comets
  • In the northern hemisphere, Jupiter can now be seen high in the eastern night sky in the constellation Gemini

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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