Here you’re going to discover some amazing facts about the Giant Planet Jupiter.
The first of our planet Jupiter facts is that Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun.
Jupiter is also the largest of all the planets in our solar system.
The planet Jupiter is called the “King of the Planets” because it is so huge. How big is Jupiter? Well, it would take more than 1,300 planets the size of Earth to fill the inside of it. 1,300?! Man, that’s big!
Why does Jupiter have a Big Red Spot?
Jupiter is a very stormy place, and the Red Spot is one giant storm. The size of the storm gave it the name “The Great Red Spot.” This storm is so large you could fit more than two Earths inside it. This famous feature of Jupiter has been spinning for at least 400 years.
Very few planets in our solar system have as stormy an atmosphere than Jupiter’s. This is not a pleasant place to be for sure. Jupiter rotates so fast that its day is only about 10 hours long! This makes the middle of the planet bulge a bit so the planet is actually fatter that it is tall. This rapid rotation creates some crazy wind. Speeds have been measured at up to 650 km per hour or more than 400 miles per hour!
What is Jupiter made of?
Jupiter, like the other Jovian planets, is made up mostly of gas. It’s the same types of gas (hydrogen and helium) that the sun is made of. If you tried to walk on Jupiter you would just sink through it. Because of the massive pressure of Jupiter’s gravity, the hydrogen is compressed first into a liquid then to a solid. This happens around 20,000 km (12,400 mi.) below the gas clouds. Below the solid hydrogen is the core. We don’t know for sure, but some scientists believe Jupiter’s core is made of rocky material.
This brings up an interesting question – If Jupiter is made of the same stuff as the sun why don’t we have two suns?
One of the most interesting of our planet Jupiter facts is that technically we could!
If Jupiter was to grow 40 times its size and mass it would set off the necessary nuclear reactions to create a new star. We would have two suns in our sky instead of one. For any Star Wars fans out there, our sky would look the same as Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine.
How many moons does Jupiter have?
Another one of Planet Jupiter facts is its moons. Until recently there were only 16 known moons that orbited Jupiter. In the last few years that changed big time. By February 2004, we found 47 more for a total of 63!
Because of Jupiter’s size, its gravity extends far out into space. So some of the moons of Jupiter were just asteroids that got too close and got caught in its gravity field. The smaller ones are no bigger than 20 km (12.4 mi) across.
When you look at Jupiter and the four largest moons it looks like a mini solar system. The four main moons of Jupiter are very terrestrial like. They are named Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.