Fact: General facts about Jupiter


Jupiter is the 5th planet from the Sun, and unique from all other planets in many ways. The first of the gas giant planets, it has no surface to set down on, and is banded by thick clouds. It is the largest planet of the solar system, and has a tremendously powerful magnetic field. Even though it is further away from the Earth than other planets, because it is so large it can be the 3rd brightest object in the nighttime sky behind the Moon and Venus

Facts About Jupiter

Name Origin: Roman. Jupiter was named in Ancient times after the Roman god of sky and Thunder. He was the Roman equivalent to the Greek god Zeus.

Size: Average Diameter 142,00km, Mass of approximately 1.89 x 10^27 Kg. Jupiter is so large, you could line up more than 11 Earths across its center. If you hollowed Jupiter out, it would hold the same volume as 1,300 Earths. Because it is a gas Giant and not made of rock it only weighs as much as 300 earths.

Gravity: 2.53g. Although you could not stand on Jupiter, since it has no hard rock, if you could design a ship that could survive at the surface then while safely inside the ship if you weight 150lbs on earth you would weigh 380lbs on Jupiter!

Temperature: It is very difficult to measure what temperatures the different cloud layers have on Jupiter. The Galileo mission is the only probe to enter Jupiter’s atmosphere, and recorded temperatures above 300 degrees C!

Days: Rotational period 10 hours. Although the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter spins so quickly that it makes more than two revolutions per one Earth day!

Orbit: Semi Major Axis: 778 million km, Orbital Period 4,332 days. Jupiter is more than 5 times as far away from the Sun as the earth, and a year on Jupiter takes almost 12 years on Earth!

Atmosphere: Hydrogen, Helium. Since Jupiter has no rocky surface some might say the entire planet is just atmosphere. Scientists consider the first 5,000km of to be the upper atmosphere. At that depth, the pressure becomes so great it would be 10 times that found at sea level on Earth!

Visible Features: Jupiter’s atmosphere has many different layers sporting different temperatures, wind speeds, and gas compositions. As a result it has a very striking appearance with different bands of brown, white, and yellow clouds. The Great Red Spot is a hurricane-like storm of clouds so big you could fit 3 Earths inside of it!

Fun facts: Jupiter is so large, that if you combined all the other planets and asteroids in the solar system it would still weigh 2.5 times as much! It has 67 moons (many of which are less than 10 kilometers in diameter) and the largest of them is even larger than the planet Mercury!

To learn more about Jupiter and the Missions planned by NASA to study the planet visit:

  • Planet Jupiter Overview