Some amazing facts and pictures of the planet Jupiter.
Image credit: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
1. Ancient astronomers named Jupiter after the king of the Roman gods.
2. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. Its diameter is 88,846 miles (142,984 kilometers).
3. The atmosphere of Jupiter is composed mostly of hydrogen and helium.
4. Shoemaker-Levy 9 was a comet that fragmented and collided with Jupiter in July 1994. This event was highly publicised and gave scientists a great deal of information.
Impacts from Shoemaker-Levy 9 actually left “scars”.
Image credit: Hubble Space Telescope Comet Team and NASA
5. The force of gravity at the surface of Jupiter is about 2.4 times stronger than on Earth.
6. The planet orbits the Sun in 4,333 Earth days, or almost 12 Earth years.
7. Jupiter takes only 9 hours 56 minutes to spin around once on its axis.
8. The core temperature may be about 43,000 degrees F (24,000 degrees C). This is hotter than the surface of the sun!
9. Jupiter’s most outstanding surface feature is the Great Red Spot. The widest diameter of the spot is about three times that of Earth.
Image credit: NASA
10. Jupiter has 16 satellites that measure at least 6 miles (10 kilometers) in diameter. It also has many smaller satellites.
11. Jupiter has three thin rings around its equator. Jupiter’s rings appear to consist mostly of fine dust particles.