Astronomy — The Planet Jupiter
- Distance from the Sun: 483,600,000 miles
- Time for one solar circuit, in Earth years: 12 years
- Time for one axial rotation, in Earth hours: 10 hours
- Diameter: 89,000 miles (11 times the diameter of Earth)
- Orbital speed: approximately 30,000 miles per hour
- Surface temperature range: -200° F to 80° F
- Atmosphere: a dense atmosphere made up of light gases (hydrogen, helium, methane, NH3 [ammonia])
- Jupiter has very low density
- Jupiter contains more material than all of the other planets in the solar system combined. It contains 70% of all the planetary matter in our solar system.
- Jupiter is 318 times more massive than the Earth.
- An astronaut would weigh 600 pounds on Jupiter.
- The visible face of Jupiter is formed by clouds of ammonia.
- Jupiter has a core of iron and rock, several thousand miles in diameter, covered by a layer of molten hydrogen 40,000 miles thick. The upper layers of the liquid interior merge gradually with the most dense, lower layers of the gaseous atmosphere, so there is no liquid surface.
- The famous ‘red spot’, which is the size of the Pacific Ocean, is a mammoth hurricane. It is continual and anchored to one spot.
- Jupiter has one ring 16,000 miles in diameter, composed of rock.
- Jupiter’s moons (the number grows every year, but there are many):
- Io — volcanic activity. Io and Earth are the only known bodies in our solar system that display volcanic activity. Io remains hot and active because Jupiter’s gravity causes it to twist and shift.
- Europa — mainly rock
- Ganymede — rock, mud, ice; 500,000 miles from Jupiter. It is larger than Mercury.
- Callisto — rock, mud, ice; 1 million miles from Jupiter
- Almalthea, Andrastea, Metis, and others
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