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12 Facts About Jupiter (the planet)

Last Reviewed and Updated on June 14, 2022

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and it’s one of the largest planets in our solar system. When you consider that Jupiter has a mass two and a half times that of all the other planets combined, then you gain some profound perspective on how big it really is. And this is only a fraction of some of the most interesting facts about Jupiter, read on and learn more.

1. Jupiter is the largest planet in our Solar System

It’s the 5th planet in our Solar System and is by far the largest out of all the planets. The only thing larger in the Solar System is the Sun.

2. It has a greater mass than all other planets combined

The mass of Jupiter (Jovian mass) is approximately 2.5 times the mass of all other planets in the Solar System combined.

The mass of Jupiter is 1.9 x 1027 kg.

3. It takes Jupiter 12 years to orbit the Sun

One Jupiter year equals 12 Earth years, or to be precise 4,333 Earth days.

4. Jupiter has the shortest day in our Solar System

You would think with Jupiter being the size it is it would take this planet a little while to rotate around its axis. Well, the rotations happen really, really fast. Jupiter completes its rotation in just under 10 Earth hours.

5. The famous red spot is a hurricane on its surface

Hurricanes on Earth are devastating. But they don’t hold a candle to hurricanes on Jupiter. The Great Red Spot that can be observed on the surface of Jupiter is a spinning storm, much like a hurricane just much, much larger. In fact, it’s even much larger than the whole Earth is.

The storm is a persistent one and it has been raging on Jupiter for hundreds of years. And like every other storm, it will calm down one day, but it could be decades or even centuries before that happens.

6. It has dozens of moons

Jupiter has many moons. Most have their own names, some are still waiting to be officially named.

Jupiter has 79 currently known moons (as of 2022). Most of these were discovered in the last couple of years so the number of moons discovered will most certainly increase again.

The largest of the moons is Ganymede is bigger than the planet Mercury. It’s almost the size of Mars!

7. You can see Jupiter without a telescope

This is one of the more exciting facts about Jupiter. If you know where to look, you can see Jupiter with the naked eye, it is one of the 5 planets you can see.

Modern technology makes spotting planets easy as there are many apps for your phone that will show you the location of astronomical objects in the sky.

8. The surface of Jupiter isn’t solid

When it comes to planets it may be hard to imagine a surface that isn’t solid. Jupiter is a gas giant, instead of a solid surface, this planet is made out of gasses and liquids. You wouldn’t be able to land on such a planet, as there isn’t a solid surface to land on.

9. It got its name after the chief Roman god

Both in Greece and Rome, this planet got named after the highest deity, Jupiter by Romans and Zeus by the Greeks. The name Jupiter was adapted.

A fitting name for a planet as grand as Jupiter.

10. Jupiter has rings

The planet most known for its rings in our Solar System is Saturn, however, it’s far from the only one. Jupiter is one of the planets that have rings, they are much fainter than those of Saturn.

The main ring was discovered in 1979 by the space probe Voyager 1. It was the 3rd ring system to be discovered in our Solar System, after Saturn and Uranus.

12. It has spectacular auroras

This is one of the most fun facts about Jupiter. It has the biggest, most spectacular auroras in our Solar System.

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