Jupiter, the fifth planet from the sun, is the largest in our solar system. After the Moon and Venus, it’s generally the brightest object in the night sky. This gas mammoth, made mainly of hydrogen and helium, is easily recognized by its changing dark belts and light zones as well as the Great Red Spot, a storm larger than the Earth.
The biggest planet in our Solar System
In fact, it’s quite larger than every other planet in the solar system. When compared with our home planet, it would take so many Earths laid side by side to match the diameter of Jupiter. It’s believed that Jupiter’s massive size is responsible for directing the paths of smaller objects within the solar system, either sending comets or asteroids into or away from the inner solar system. It in a way plays the role of a protector for our home planet Earth.
Different from the Quartet
When you look closely at the structure of our solar system, you will find that Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are fairly close to one another and are within 249 million kilometers from the Sun.
Then there is Jupiter, which separates itself from the original planetary quintet by roughly 482 million kilometers. At its closest proximity, Jupiter is around 741 million kilometers from the Sun, making it nearly 5 times further down from the Sun than Earth.
Shorter Days than Earth
Its extended distance means Jupiter takes just about 12 earth years to orbit around the Sun. Anyhow, of the 12 years orbital period, Jupiter actually has shorter days compared to earth. Where we Earthlings endured a 24- hour cycle, Jupiter gets a day that’s nine hours and 56 minutes long.
No surface to land
Jupiter is one of two gas planets in the solar system, which is composed primarily of Hydrogen and Helium at an approximate rate of 90 to 10 percent. Jupiter is one big ball of gas that if you tried to land on the earth’s face, you’d be plaintively disappointed. What scientists consider, the face of Jupiter is just the point where the atmospheric pressure is at an equivalent to Earth’s
Jupiter is home to some very aggressive and damaging storms. Within just a few hours the planet’s own heat source, set up deep within its core, is primarily responsible for the pettish convection that helps drive Jupiter’s dangerous rainfall patterns. The process is analogous to storms formed on Earth, though the Sun has nothing to do with the important lightning and dangerous winds on this gas mammoth.
No claims for discovery
Till date, no one has claimed Jupiter’s discovery. The discovery of almost all planets in our solar system can be linked back to scientists, but there are many planets that can be seen without specialized backing. What’s known is that the Romans were the first to give Jupiter a formal name, merely after their Supreme God and deity of thunder, lightning, and the sky. If a name must be associated with its discovery, Galileo Galilei was the first person to view the earth via telescope.
Galileo had laid claim to the four moons of Jupiter, but he had no idea that there were further lying in delay. In fact, the great astronomer was nowhere near finding every one of the gas titans moons. Overall there are 67 known satellites ringing and considering the rear most of them were discovered only in 2011. There is a chance that further are out there.
Long living Storms
One wouldn’t imagine a storm lasting 300 times, but that is exactly what is passing in this gas mammoth’s atmosphere. The veritably first over-close imagery of what has been named the ‘Great Red Spot’ came from voyager one’s trip in 1979. The current spot has been under scrutiny since 1830. The 300 time old storm continues to dole out extreme winds exceeding 200 long hauls or 320 kilometers per hour.