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Home » What's New? » Space Facts » Planet Jupiter
15Jun
2017
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Planet Jupiter

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System.

Jupiter is named for the king of ancient Roman gods. To the Greeks, it represented Zeus, the god of thunder. The Mesopotamians saw Jupiter as the god Marduk and patron of the city of Babylon. Germanic tribes saw this planet as Donar, or Thor.

Jupiter is called a gas giant planet as it is primarily made up of hydrogen gas and helium gas, like the sun. The planet is covered in thick red, brown, yellow and white clouds. The clouds make the planet look like it has stripes.

It is one of five planets visible to the naked eye from Earth.

Jupiter is so large that all of the other planets in the solar system could fit inside it. More than 1,300 Earths would fit inside Jupiter.

One of Jupiter’s most famous features is the Great Red Spot. It is a giant spinning storm, resembling a hurricane.

Jupiter rotates, or spins, faster than any other planet. One rotation equals one day. It turns on its axis once every 9 hours and 55 minutes. Jupiter orbits the Sun once every 11.8 Earth years.

The temperature in the clouds of Jupiter is about minus 145 degrees Celsius (minus 234 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature near the planet’s center is much, much hotter. The core temperature may be about 24,000 degrees Celsius (43,000 degrees Fahrenheit). That’s hotter than the surface of the sun.

Jupiter has 53 confirmed moons, as well as 14 provisional ones — for a possible total of 67 moons. These newly discovered, provisional moons are reported by astronomers and acknowledged with a temporary designation by the International Astronomical Union. Once their orbits are confirmed, they are included in Jupiter’s confirmed moon count.

So far eight spacecraft have visited Jupiter.  Pioneer 10 and 11, Voyager 1 and 2, Galileo, Cassini, Ulysses, and New Horizons missions. The Juno mission is its way to Jupiter and will arrive in July 2016. Other future missions may focus on the Jovian moons Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, and their subsurface oceans.

 

Source: www.nasa.gov / www.space-facts.com
Image Credit: www.pics-about-space.com

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