Planet Jupiter

Jupiter, the king of the planets, can be seen by the naked eye.

  • Jupiter is the fourth brightest ‘star/light’ in the sky and is made from gases and liquids.
  • Jupiter is named after the king of the Roman gods (Jupiter), due to the way it shines brightly and the way it moves among the stars.
  • Jupiter has more than 67 moons and counting.  The first four moons of Jupiter were discovered in 1610 by Italian astronomer, Galileo.
  • The first close-up photo of Jupiter was taken in 1973 by the space probe Pioneer 10.  The first rings were discovered by the space probe Voyager 1 in 1979 and are made from the dust of Jupiter’s inner moons.
  • Jupiter is averagely 778 330 000 km (483 340 000 miles) away from the sun.
Planet Jupiter, Great Red Spot, Ganymede Moon, Three Colour, NASA NSSDC Gallery, Ten Random Facts
Photo courtesy of NASA – NSSDC (Broken Link)
  • On Jupiter, 1 day (rotation) takes 9.83 earth hours and 1 year (Jupiter’s orbit of the sun) takes 11.86 earth years, the orbit being an almost perfect circle.
  • Jupiter is the heaviest planet and weighs approximately 317.89 times of Earth’s mass and its diameter is 142 984 km (88 793 miles).
  • The colour of the clouds of Jupiter are orange, brown, red, cream and white.  The winds on Jupiter are caused from the heat of the sun and there is a storm raging on the planet called the Great Red Spot.
  • The magnetic field of Jupiter is ten times stronger than Earth’s field.
  • Jupiter gives off strange radio signals and produces lots of heat.
Birch, R 2004, Jupiter, Macmillian Education, South Yarra


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