Knowledge Articles | Our Big Brother - Jupiter

Our Big Brother - Jupiter

Jupiter might be the fifth planet in the solar system. But it holds a strong position when it comes to size and speed. The ancient Babylonians were the first to notice Jupiter in the 7th century B.C. Later Romans have given the name Jupiter after their God for sky and thunder. Here is a fact file that tells you everything about the giant planet.

THE BIGGEST: Jupiter is the biggest planet in the solar system.
- It is so big that even if all the planets are brought together, they can't equal the mass of Jupiter.
- It requires 1321 earths to equal the volume of Jupiter! That is the reason why we can see Jupiter with our naked eye.
- Jupiter has a gravitation that is almost 2.5 times greater than that of the earth. If your weight is 40 kgs on earth, you would weigh around 94.5 kgs on Jupiter!
- Though Jupiter is a big planet, it's not rocky like Earth or Mercury. Jupiter consists of mainly Hydrogen and Helium gases. If we enter the planet, we could only land on its core. The rest of it is filled with liquid and gases.
THE FASTEST: Though Jupiter is a huge planet, it moves at an amazing speed.
- It takes just under 10 hours to rotate itself.
- Due to such rapid speed, the planet has bulged around its equator.
- Though it takes less time to revolve around itself, Jupiter needs almost 11.8 years to revolve around the sun.
- We on earth could experience seasons because our planet is tilted at 23.4 degrees. But Jupiter has a tilt of just 3.13 degrees which means that it can't have any seasons.
TOO MANY MOONS! Our earth has only one natural satellite which we call as a moon.
- Jupiter has the highest number of Moons in the solar system.
- Till date astronomers have found 67 moons revolving around the Jupiter.
- Four of them were big enough that they could be seen with a normal telescope. Galileo has recorded these moons in 1610. Since then these four moons were called as Galilean moons.
- Ganymede is the largest moon of Jupiter. It is the largest of all moons in the solar system. It is larger even than the planet mercury by 8%.
- But most of the moons of Jupiter were asteroids that were caught in the Jupiter's orbit.
RINGS AND CLOUDS: Jupiter is covered with clouds of ammonium.
- As the clouds move along with the planet, they look like bands around the Jupiter.
- The interactions among the clouds do create huge storms. One such storm is prevailing since 300 years! This storm is visible as a big red spot on the planet.
- It's not just Saturn that has rings. Jupiter too has rings. But these rings are so thin that they are almost invisible.
- The rings of Jupiter comprise mostly of dust particles emitted from the asteroids and the moons.