ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

15 Interesting Facts About Jupiter

Updated on November 22, 2016
SuperBrainwave LM profile image

Since completing university, Paul has worked as a bookseller, librarian, and freelance writer. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.

Photo of Jupiter taken by the space probe Cassini.  The fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar system, Jupiter is certainly a gas giant by any measure, and has been known about by astronomers since ancient times.
Photo of Jupiter taken by the space probe Cassini. The fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar system, Jupiter is certainly a gas giant by any measure, and has been known about by astronomers since ancient times. | Source

Jupiter is a fascinating planet, partly because it is so very different from our own planet, the Earth.

It is huge in size, and rather than being solid, its surface essentially consists of gasses (mainly hydrogen and helium).

Astronomers have known about the planet since ancient times and it features in many myths and religions.

It has been explored by robotic spacecraft, but no human has ever gone there.

I hope that you enjoy reading my 15 fun facts about Jupiter and find them interesting!

1. Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System - 318 times larger than Earth. Its mass is one-thousandth of that of the Sun, which sounds not that big until you consider that that means it has 2.5 times the mass of all the other Solar System planets put together.

2. The planet is named after the Roman god, who overthrew his father, Saturn and became the king of the gods.

A wall painting depicting the Roman god, found in Pompeii, with eagle and globe.  He was seen as the king of the gods, and was the chief deity of Roman state religion until Christianity became the dominant religion.
A wall painting depicting the Roman god, found in Pompeii, with eagle and globe. He was seen as the king of the gods, and was the chief deity of Roman state religion until Christianity became the dominant religion. | Source

3. Jupiter is mainly composed of hydrogen. A quarter of its mass is helium, despite helium only making up around a tenth of the number of molecules. It may well have a rocky core, but as with the other gas giants, the planet has no obvious solid surface.

4. It is the 5th planet from the Sun, between Venus and Saturn. The maximum distance it reaches from the Sun when orbiting is 508 million miles (817 million km).

Jupiter, a world far larger than Earth, is so warm that it currently radiates more internal heat than it receives from the Sun.

— Seth Shostak

5. The colored bands around the planet are caused by thick clouds of poisonous gases being whipped around by the rapid spin of the planet.

Maybe the search for life shouldn't restrict attention to planets like Earth. Science fiction writers have other ideas: balloon-like creatures floating in the dense atmospheres of planets such as Jupiter, swarms of intelligent insects, nano-scale robots and more.

— Martin Rees

6. The planet has many moons orbiting around it, at least 66. Its four biggest moons are called Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. They each have eccentric orbits of the planet.

Image of Jupiter and Io captured on January 1, 2001 by Cassini.  Io is the planet's largest moon, but the photo demonstrates the enormous size discrepancy between the two bodies.
Image of Jupiter and Io captured on January 1, 2001 by Cassini. Io is the planet's largest moon, but the photo demonstrates the enormous size discrepancy between the two bodies. | Source
Europa: Jupiter's second largest moon and the sixth-largest moon in the Solar System. Europa was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei. Jupiter has many moons with Io being the largest.
Europa: Jupiter's second largest moon and the sixth-largest moon in the Solar System. Europa was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei. Jupiter has many moons with Io being the largest. | Source

7. Jupiter's Great Red Spot was first observed by telescope and noted by Giovanni Cassini, who mentioned it in 1665. It is basically a giant storm where hurricane winds blow. A hundred years ago the spot was 25,000 miles (40,000 km) across. It has now shrunk to only half the size, but it is still huge.

8. Jupiter is the fastest spinning planet in the Solar System. The rapid spinning distorts the shape of the planet, making it that of an oblate spheroid, with a small but noticeable bulge around its equator.

9. The planet has a very powerful magnetic field. If you went there, you would weigh two and a half times as much as you would on Earth.

Mars still remains the astrobiology community's number one choice for 'nearest rock with life,' but there are many researchers who argue that the moons of Jupiter are better bets. In particular, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto are all thought to hide vast oceans of liquid water beneath their icy, outer skins.

— Seth Shostak

10. The planet has been visited by spacecraft 8 times. The first spacecraft to go there was Pioneer 10, which set off in 1972 and made a flyby the following year, capturing and transmitting over 500 images of Jupiter.

Pioneer 10 during the latter stages of its construction.  The American space probe was the first to complete a mission to the planet Jupiter. It later achieved fame as the first spacecraft to achieve escape velocity from the Solar System.
Pioneer 10 during the latter stages of its construction. The American space probe was the first to complete a mission to the planet Jupiter. It later achieved fame as the first spacecraft to achieve escape velocity from the Solar System. | Source

11. The first clear and up close photographs of Jupiter came from Voyager 1, which was a space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977, visiting the planet in 1979. At its closest, Voyager 1 was 217,000 miles (349,000 kilometers) from the planet's center.

Voyager 1 is currently the farthest spacecraft from Earth.  Launched by NASA on September 5, 1977, to study the outer Solar System, the space probe began photographing Jupiter in January 1979 and made its closest approach to the planet in March 1979.
Voyager 1 is currently the farthest spacecraft from Earth. Launched by NASA on September 5, 1977, to study the outer Solar System, the space probe began photographing Jupiter in January 1979 and made its closest approach to the planet in March 1979. | Source

12. Although they are very faint, Jupiter does have rings. There are three of them and they are called Gossamer, Main and Halo. They are composed of dust, unlike Saturn's rings which are ice.

Illustration showing Jupiter's rings.  There are three main segments, called the halo, a relatively bright main ring, and an outer gossamer ring.  The planet's rings are made of dust, unlike Saturn's which are ice.
Illustration showing Jupiter's rings. There are three main segments, called the halo, a relatively bright main ring, and an outer gossamer ring. The planet's rings are made of dust, unlike Saturn's which are ice. | Source

13. The planet can be seen from Earth without a telescope. It is the 3rd brightest object in the Solar System, after Venus and the Moon.

14. A day on Jupiter is about the same length of time as 10 Earth hours.

15. A year on Jupiter is about the same length of time as 12 Earth years.

Image illustrating the order of the planets and their relative sizes compared with each other.  Jupiter is the fifth, and by far the largest planet.  It is located between Venus and Saturn.
Image illustrating the order of the planets and their relative sizes compared with each other. Jupiter is the fifth, and by far the largest planet. It is located between Venus and Saturn. | Source

Solar System Facts

  • Our Solar System is made up of planets, minor planets, moons, comets, asteroids, dust and gas.
  • It formed about 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar molecular cloud.
  • Most of the Solar System's mass is in the Sun. Most of the rest is in Jupiter.
  • For many thousands of years people didn't understand the Solar System and believed that Earth was at the center of the Universe.
  • There are 8 planets in the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
  • There are 5 dwarf planets: Pluto, Ceres, Eris, Makemake and Haumea.

Three different views of the dwarf planet, Pluto, taken by the Hubble telescope.  Pluto is the largest object in the Kuiper belt.  Mainly made up of rock and ice, it has about a sixth of the mass of the Moon and a third of its volume.
Three different views of the dwarf planet, Pluto, taken by the Hubble telescope. Pluto is the largest object in the Kuiper belt. Mainly made up of rock and ice, it has about a sixth of the mass of the Moon and a third of its volume. | Source

© 2012 Paul Goodman

New Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Reese 

      23 months ago

      Good facts for science

    • yVegas profile image

      Clara R Davidson 

      23 months ago

      it's really a great article, I am really happy to know about the interesting facts about Jupiter.

    • profile image

      cody 

      2 years ago

      awsome

    • profile image

      Mariah Shrader 

      3 years ago

      This website has been very helpful. I am happy to say that I have got a lot of information for it. I hope that this website will continue to be updated and up loaded on. So thank you very much for sharing all this information about the Solar System! Also it is called this pitiable thing called a book that would also work but I chose to use this instead, this world need a good wake up call ! B So yeah ......... BYE NOWWWWWW ..................................................................... LOL ............................BYE Felicia...........

    • dougwest1 profile image

      Doug West 

      4 years ago from Missouri

      I liked your Jupiter article so I embedded a link to it in my Hub "Comets: Visitors from Deep Space".

    • profile image

      travelerme 

      6 years ago

      15 facts just reach the outer ring

    • mcspocky lm profile image

      mcspocky lm 

      6 years ago

      Very interesting! :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)