Jupiter Facts
Jupiter Facts

38 Colossal Facts about Jupiter

By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published November 2, 2017
  • Jupiter spins faster than any other planet at over 29,200 miles (47,000 km) per hour. If Earth spun this fast, a day would last less than hour.[7]
  • The center of Jupiter is nearly 72,000 degrees Fahrenheit (40,000 degrees Celsius), which is hotter than the Sun's surface.[7]
  • It takes Jupiter 12 years to revolve around the Sun. Earth takes 365 days.[6]
  • Saturn isn't the only planet with rings. Jupiter has three rings, but they are very dark and cannot be seen with ordinary telescopes.[6]
  • The force of gravity on Jupiter is more than twice as strong as it is on Earth. If someone weighs 80 pounds (36 kg) on Earth, they would weigh 200 pounds (90 kg) on Jupiter.[6]
  • Jupiter History Fact
    Jupiter was also known as Jove
  • The planet Jupiter is named after the Roman god Jupiter, who was the leader of all other gods. He was the god of light, sky, and justice.[6]
  • Clouds on Jupiter are not like the clouds on Earth. On Jupiter, clouds speed around the planet at up to 400 miles (644 km) per hour.[6]
  • Jupiter is over 11 times bigger than Earth. If Earth were as wide as a quarter, Jupiter would be a dinner plate.[1]
  • In 2011, a group of scientists predicted that lakes of liquid water on one of Jupiter's moons (Europa) may be able to support life.[6]
  • Jupiter closely resembles a star: it's made up of mostly helium and hydrogen.[1]
  • Over 1,000 Earths could fit inside Jupiter.[6]
  • Only three objects are brighter in the night sky than Jupiter: the Sun, our Moon, and the planet Venus.  When Jupiter appears in the night sky, it shines with a creamy, white glow.[4]
  • Jupiter does not have a solid surface, which means that a person would just sink deeper and deeper into the planet. Jupiter may have a solid core, but it would be very small and would be the only solid part of the planet.[4]
  • While Earth cannot give off more energy than it receives from the Sun, Jupiter radiates almost twice as much heat as it receives from the Sun.[2]
  • Every 12 years Jupiter returns to the same position in the sky; every 370 days it disappears in the fire of the Sun in the evening to the west, 30 days later it reappears in the morning to the east . . .

    - Observation in 4th century B.C

  • One of Jupiter's moons, Io, has the most active volcanos of any object in our solar system.[4]
  • Earth orbits the Sun in one year. Jupiter takes almost 12 years to orbit the Sun one time.[4]
  • Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun. At 484 million miles (778 million km) away, it is about 5 times farther from the Sun than Earth is.[4]
  • Because Jupiter generates its own heat, it shrinks 2 cm every year. When it was first formed, it was about twice its current diameter, and it was much hotter.[3]
  • Jupiter's Great Red Spot is the biggest storm in the solar system. It is three times bigger than Earth and has lasted for at least 180 years.[7]
  • Jupiter Red Spot
    Winds around the Great Red Spot's oval edges can reach up to 425 mph (680 km/h) 1

  • Jupiter is one of the five planets that is visible to the naked eye from Earth. The other four planets are Venus, Mars, Mercury, and Saturn.[1]
  • Jupiter's moon Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system, even larger than the planet Mercury.[1]
  • Jupiter's trademark, its Great Red Spot, is shrinking. It is now the smallest it's been since it was discovered in 1831.[5]
  • Without Jupiter's mass gravity, Earth would be hit by many more asteroids. The gas giant is essentially our "vacuum cleaner" in space.[7]
  • If Jupiter became any larger, it would actually start to shrink. More mass would make the planet more dense, which means it would start pulling in on itself.[1]
  • Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, has a huge ocean, over 62 (100 km) deep. The moon is thought to have twice as much water as there is on Earth.[7]
  • Interesting Europa Fact
    Europa is the most likely place to find life in our solar system because it may hold a liquid water ocean under its surface

  • The whirling, beautiful clouds on Jupiter are only about 31 miles (50 km) thick. Below the clouds are just hydrogen and helium.[2]
  • Jupiter has 67 confirmed and named moons. However, scientists estimate that the gas giant has over 200 natural satellites orbiting it. Its four largest moons are collectively known as the Galilean Moons.[2]
  • Eight spacecraft have visited Jupiter—so far. The first was NASA's Pioneer 10 spacecraft in December 1973. The last spacecraft to visit Jupiter was NASA's Juno in July 2016.[2]
  • The ancient Babylonians were the first to record seeing Jupiter in the night sky around the seventh or eighth century B.C.[2]
  • The Mesopotamians called Jupiter "Marduk" and claimed it as the patron of the city of Babylonian.[2]
  • Jupiter produces powerful blasts of natural radio waves stronger than those that the Sun produces. Its powerful radio wavelengths may even influence the intense volcanic activity on its moon, Io.[2]
  • Germanic tribes called Jupiter Donar, or Thor.[1]
  • Galileo Fact
    Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's four major moons would bring the Catholic church's wrath
  • Galileo was the first to discover the four major moons of Jupiter in 1610. It was this discovery that proved that celestial bodies orbited something other than Earth and provided further evidence of the Copernican heliocentric solar system.[2]
  • If Jupiter were 80 times more massive, it would turn into a star.[2]
  • Jupiter is massive: It is twice the size of all the planets in our solar system combined.[6]
  • If a person could travel the speed of light, it would take them 43 minutes to reach Jupiter from Earth. It would take someone driving 65 miles per hour over 850 years to reach Jupiter from Earth.[2]
  • Jupiter's moon Callisto is the most heavily cratered body in the solar system.[2]
  • Jupiter is a giant magnet. It is one of six planets that have magnetic fields larger than the planets themselves. The other five planets are Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Mercury, and Earth.[2]
  • Colossal Jupiter Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Jupiter Infographic
References

1Adamson, Thomas K. The Secrets of Jupiter. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2016.

2Goss, Tim. Jupiter. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2008.

3Guiloot T, et al. Jupiter: The Planet, Satellites and Magnetosphere. Boston: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

4Hansen, Rosanna. Jupiter. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.

5Nagaraja, Mamta Patel. "Jupiter's Great Red Spot is Shrinking." NASA. May 15, 2014. Accessed: September 29, 2017.

6Ring, Susan. Jupiter. New York: Weigl, 2014.

7Solway, Andrew. Jupiter and the Outer Planets. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2013.

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