Fascinating Facts About Jupiter We Bet You Didn't Know | Kidadl


Fascinating Facts About Jupiter We Bet You Didn't Know

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Our beautiful solar system is filled with planets, stars, and other celestial bodies.

There are eight planets rotating around the sun in all their majestic glory. Jupiter is the tallest and most powerful of these planets.

The oblate shape and the rings around the equatorial diameter of this planet are attractive. But that is not the end of the beauty of the planet Jupiter. There are blue clouds swirling across the surface of the planet. There is also a giant red spot seen only on this planet. A ferocious storm could rise from this giant red spot. The fun facts about Jupiter extend to Jupiter's gravity, Jupiter’s clouds, and much more. Let us learn more about this giant planet in the solar system here.

After reading interesting facts about the planet Jupiter and its great red spot, also check out England facts and facts about Cuba.

What is Jupiter made of?

Jupiter is the fifth planet in the solar system. It is also a giant planet. In fact, Jupiter is considered the largest planet in the solar system. You might be wondering what this massive planet is made of? What is the composition that makes the great planet Jupiter? 

In composition, Jupiter is much like the sun. It is composed mainly of helium and hydrogen gas. Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is also called a gas giant. Jupiter's atmosphere is 90% hydrogen. The other parts are mainly helium, but there are also traces of other gases. One cannot hit firm ground when intending to land.

That is precisely why this planet in the solar system is called a gas giant. Although the details of the core of Jupiter are not known in great detail, it is believed that the great pressure in the depth of the planet might squeeze electrons from the hydrogen atoms, making the liquid hydrogen electrically conduct like a metal. The central core is assumed to be made of metallic hydrogen with a layer of molecular hydrogen on top of it.

There have been assumptions that the core of the biggest planet in the solar system could either be rock solid or liquid in state. The stripes and swirls seen at Jupiter's equator are actually swirling gases of ammonia and water. The magnetic field of Jupiter is very strong. Jupiter has a rapid rotation that is believed to drive electric currents in the regions of the planets.

This rotation is powerful enough to form a magnetic field around the planet. The magnetic field thus formed is also powerful. The formation of this planet in the solar system happened 4.5 billion years ago when swirling gas and dust particles combined together. The rings of the planet are also fascinating. Jupiter's rings are composed of tiny dark particles.

Galilean satellites indicate that the thin ring system must be formed by the dust smashed into celestial bodies on Jupiter's innermost moons. Jupiter's rings are a faint ring system and are not visible in the night sky. It is visible when the planet is backlit by the sun.

Scary Facts About Jupiter

There are many facts about Jupiter that will shock you. The planet is a unique one compared to other planets in the solar system. These Jupiter facts are unusual enough to scare you. So what are some scary facts about Jupiter? Read on to find out. 

The scariest thing about Jupiter, among all the other facts about it, would definitely be its size. Jupiter is a big planet. Massive would be a more accurate description. It is bigger than all the planets combined! It is two and a half times bigger than all the other planets combined.

Compared to Earth, Jupiter is 318 times larger. That is quite scary. But if the planet starts to get any bigger in mass, then it would actually get smaller because the additional mass would cause the planet to become denser. So, you don’t have to worry about the planet Jupiter getting more massive than it already is.

Jupiter is also the fastest spinning planet in the solar system. The velocity of the planet’s rotation is 28,273 mph (43,000 kph). It is a wonder that this planet can move so fast given its massive size. The fast Jupiter spins also results in a powerful magnetic field around it that emits dangerous radiation. The orbit period of the planet Jupiter is 12 years. When the Earth completes a rotation once every 24 hours, Jupiter completes one every nine and a half hours. Jupiter's clouds are rotating at a speed of 28,273 mph (43,000 kph) at the equator. The layers of Jupiter are a result of Jupiter's turbulent rotation.

The great red spot of Jupiter is also a curious topic. The great red spot has been around for 350 years. It is 15,000 mi (24000 km) in diameter and around 8,750 mi (14000 km) in height. Do you know what's scary? Within the diameter of the Earth, the giant red spot can fit two or three planets.

You would expect that the only moon number a planet would have is one. But Jupiter has 53 named moons. 26 of Jupiter's moons are not even named yet, making for a total of 79 moons. There are four Galilean moons of Jupiter, discovered by Galileo Galilei. The Galilean moons are Europa, Ganymede, Io, and Callisto. These moons can be observed from Earth using a suitable telescope. There are more major moons discovered by others as well.

Among all these Jupiter's moons, the largest moon is called Ganymede, which is a Galilean moon of Jupiter. The Ganymede moon in the solar system is actually bigger than the planet Mercury. It is a moon of Jupiter, so its enormous size is expected. 

Like other planets, Jupiter can't experience seasons since the axis is tilted. Among all the Jupiter facts, the massive size of the planet and its surface is scarier than anything else. The surface of this planet is very violent, with massive hurricanes like storms, solar wind, thunder, and lightning.

Future missions are being planned to study Jupiter's moons.

Jupiter Distance From Sun

We have already discussed how the planet Jupiter became bigger in size from the mass taken from the sun. That raises the question, how far is Jupiter from the sun? Are they close neighbors or far off from each other?

There is a distance of 5.2 AU between the sun and Jupiter. To be more precise in number, 484 million mi (778 million km). Although this is not a fixed distance because the planets orbit the sun in an elliptical orbit. So, at times, Jupiter is close to the sun and sometimes distant from it. The closest point to Jupiter is called perihelion. The distance between the sun and Jupiter is 463 million mi (748 million km) at this time. On the other hand, there is a point called the aphelion. This is when Jupiter is furthest from the sun. The distance between them becomes 508 million mi (817 million km) at this point. Jupiter could have been a star, just like the sun, but it couldn’t be. That is why you often hear Jupiter referred to as the 'failed star'.

It is called a 'failed star' because the elements that make Jupiter are the same as those that make the sun. Even though Jupiter is big, it is not massive enough to fuse hydrogen and helium like other stars. As a result, the Jupiter we see today remains a planet. If it were to be a star, then we would be figuring out the distance between two stars, not a star and a planet.

If we were to describe the distance between the sun and Jupiter in astronomical units, which is the common method used to measure the distance in the solar system, the distance between Jupiter and the sun would be 5.2 AU. The perihelion would be 4.95 AU and the aphelion would be 5.46 AU.

How was Jupiter named?

It is a well-known fact that every planet in the solar system has a name. But each name has a history of its own. You must be wondering what the history behind the name given to this planet is. Let us tell you that Jupiter is also named after something. 

If you are familiar with Roman mythology, then Jupiter will be a familiar name to you. Jupiter is the king of the Roman gods. Jupiter is actually named after a Roman king. The ancient Greeks were familiar with seven bright objects in the sky. These seven bright objects were the sun, the moon, and five bright planets visible in the sky by humans.

Among these planets, Jupiter was the biggest and brightest. So, this powerful planet was named after the most powerful king among the Romans. King Jupiter began as a sky god and later became the god of war. He brought strength and victory to his army. The supremacy of King Jupiter is seen throughout Roman history.

As a way of honoring their king, the planet was named Jupiter. It was a common practice seen in Roman and Greek mythology to name planets and stars with the names of their kings and gods. Some other examples of this, apart from Jupiter, are Neptune, who is the god of the sea, Mars, who is the god of war, and Mercury, the messenger.

The god of time is called Saturn, who is also the father of Jupiter. Uranus is the father of Saturn. Venus is the goddess of love. As you can see, all these names are a part of our solar system. These names come from Roman history. Incidentally, the name 'Earth' is not part of Roman history. In this regard, the Earth differs from the other planets in the solar system.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for facts about Jupiter then why not take a look at facts about Earth, or facts about Saturn.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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