42 Important Facts About Jupiter

Last updated on July 2nd, 2021

Our Solar System is vast and there are multitudes of things that are being discovered about it by scientists all over the world. Jupiter is an important planet and in recent years, a lot of important information and data about it has been gathered by various space agencies. With these 42 facts about Jupiter, let’s learn more about this gas giant.  

1. Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun in the solar system and the largest of all. (Order of the planets from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (the dwarf planet)).  

“Jupiter is 11 times wider than Earth.”

2. Jupiter is the third brightest planet in the night sky after Earth’s moon and Venus.

3. Jupiter mainly consists of Hydrogen, Helium and other liquid matter.

4. Jupiter, like other most planets, is not a well defined solid object. It mainly consists of gaseous matter.

5. Jupiter is famous for its Great Red Spot, which is a giant spot observed first in the 17th century. The giant Red Spot is a dust storm that is so immense that it gets larger than the size of Earth.

6. Four of the Jupiter’s moons were discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. These are the largest of all the moons that Jupiter has and are called the Galilean satellites.

“Ganymede (larger than Mercury and three-fourths the size of Mars) is the only moon in the solar system to have its own magnetic field.”

Ganymede quick facts

Discovered by Galileo Galilei
Discovery dateJanuary 7, 1610
Diameter5262.4 Km
Mass1.48 x 10^23 kg
Orbit distance1,070,400 km
Orbit period7.16 days
Surface temperature-163 degree Celcius

7. Jupiter has been studied by at least 8 space crafts that have been sent to space for the mission. They were sent by NASA between 1979 and 2007. They are Pioneer 10, Pioneer-Saturn, Voyager 1, Voyager 2, Ulysses, Galileo, Cassini, and New Horizons.

8. Jupiter is also famous for its colored clouds that are red, brown, yellow and white. These clouds appear as strips on the planet and impart Jupiter a very distinctive look.

9. Jupiter’s ring system has three main components that were spotted for the first time in 1976 by Voyager. They are named: Halo (a thick inner ring), Main (a wide and flat ring) and Gossamer rings (a pair of faint outer rings).

Jupiter's Ring system
Facts about Jupiter: Jupiter’s ring system and four of its moons. Image credit – NASA

10. Jupiter has the strongest magnetic field in the solar system, except that of the Sun.

“More than 1,300 Earths would fit inside Jupiter.”

11. It also has an ocean of liquid Hydrogen, which is responsible for almost all the power that this giant planet has. Due to the high speed with which the planet spins, the liquid inside the planet attracts everything that comes in its vicinity and produces a strong magnetic field.

12. Jupiter is also accredited with having the largest moon in the solar system – Ganymede (diameter – 5262 kilometers). This was also discovered by Galileo, and this moon is even bigger than the planet Mercury.

13. A special spacecraft – Juno – was sent by NASA in 2011 which reached its orbit around Jupiter on July 4th, 2016. It is expected that this spacecraft will send a lot of potential data about Jupiter back to Earth.

14. Jupiter also has the ability to alter the orbit of other planets such as Mars and that’s mainly because of its weight.

“Pioneer 10 was the first mission launched to study Jupiter in 1972.”

15. Jupiter is also nicknamed “vacuum cleaner of the solar system” because of its ability to attract other heavenly bodies into it due to its sheer mass and strong magnetic field.

16. Jupiter helps the earth by deflecting comets and asteroids away from it. Otherwise, these comets and asteroids could strike Earth causing potential damage.

17. Jupiter does not have a conducive environment for supporting any life form on it.

18. Scientists believe that Jupiter could have been a star had it been 80 times more massive than what it is today.

19. As Jupiter spins at a high speed, and because of the lack of solid mass in the planet’s composition, Jupiter has flattened out at the poles and has bulged at the equator.

20. Jupiter is the biggest source of radio emissions in the sky. Its radio waves are even received on Earth but are mostly below the audible level for humans.

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