SOLAR SYSTEM

Jupiter the largest planet

Jupiter is the fifth of nine planets in our solar system and is is one of the outer "gas giant" planets. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and only Venus (and the Moon) are brighter in the night sky. Jupiter has 80 known moons (maybe up to 600). It is not believed to have a solid surface.


Jupiter 4K pan-zoom image

Pan, zoom, or go full-screen with this megapixel image of Jupiter.

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  Original image: NASA/JPL


Jupiter facts

CHARACTERISTIC VALUE
Magnitude: -2.7
Mass: 1.9 x 1027 kg
Radius: 71,492 km
Density: 1.33 gm/cm3
Distance from Sun: 778 million km
Rotational period: 9.9 hours
Orbital period: 11.87 years
Orbital velocity: 13.1 km/sec
Eccentricity of orbit: 0.048
Tilt of axis: 3.13 °
Inclination of orbit: 1.31 °
Surface gravity: 22.9 m/sec2
Escape velocity: 59.56 km/sec
Albedo: 0.52
Temperature (at 1 bar): -108°C mean
Atmosphere: H2 = 89%
He = 10%
CH4 = 0.3%
Moons: 80


Jupiter cloud features

Saturn has no solid surface, so only atmospheric features such as light cloud zones, dark cloud belts, festoons, and the infamous Great Red Spot and Red Spot Jr storms are visible.



Jupiter poles

The north pole of Mercury holds quantities of water ice trapped in deep craters that are permanently in shadow.



Rings of Jupiter

Jupiter has five faint rings, listed in order of distance. Several moons play a role in either shepherding/constraining rings (shepherd moons) or in providing source material for moons (ring maker moons).

NAME DISTANCE SHEPHERD/MAKER MOON
Halo Ring 92,000 - 122,500
Main Ring 122,500 - 129,000 Adrastea, Metis
Amalthea Ring 129,000 - 182,000 Amalthea
Thebe Ring 129,000 - 226,000 Thebe
Himalia Ring (Arc) Himalia


Largest moons of Jupiter (4 out of 80 shown)

Jupiter has 80 known moons, with Ganymede being the largest (Ganymede is larger than planet Mercury). The largest four moons are shown, all of which can be seen through binoculars. For information on all 80 moons, see Moons of Jupiter. In addition, there may be up to 600 moons total, most of which are still undiscovered.

Jupiter vs. Earth ratios

Planet sizes are to relative scale.





Two things are infinite - the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

- Albert Einstein