Here are some interesting facts about the planet Jupiter. It is unknown when Jupiter was discovered and who discovered Jupiter. This is because at times Jupiter is visible to the naked eye from Earth, so it would be like saying who and when was Earth’s moon discovered. Another cool fact about Jupiter is that it is a Gas (Jovian) planet that has the Great Red Spot which is a giant storm which has been going on for hundreds of years and is 3 times the size of Earth. Jupiter’s atmosphere composition is 74.9% hydrogen and 23.8% helium. How about this as cool fact about Jupiter: If you weigh 150 pounds on Earth, then you would weigh 380 pounds on Jupiter because Jupiter’s surface gravity is 24.79 m/s2 or 81.3 ft/s2. If being heavy on Jupiter wasn’t enough motivation for you to not want to live there, how about the fact that the average temperature there is -148°C or -234°F.
Mass, Size and Volume
Jupiter facts about its size are very interesting. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, a matter of fact, it is so large you could fit over 1,300 Earth’s inside it or in other words you would need 11 Earths to just go from one end of Jupiter to the other. Jupiter’s mass is a whopping 318 times the amount of Earth. For the geeks who like the numbers the Density of Jupiter is 1.326 g/cm3, which is about 4 times more than Earth. Its Diameter (average) is 139,822 km or 86,881 miles. The Equatorial Circumference is 439,263.8 km or 272,945.9 miles. Another cool fact about Jupiter is its Mass is 1.898130 x 1027 kg (yes that is 27 digits after the dot). Its Surface Area is 61,418,738,571 km2 or 23,713,907,537 mi2, which is about 120 times larger than Earth. And the last amazing fact about Jupiter’s size is that its Volume is 61,418,738,571 km2 or 23,713,907,537 mi2, which is about 120 times larger than Earth’s.
Now let’s get to some facts about Jupiter’s orbit. Jupiter is the 5th planet from the Sun and is 778,340,821 km or 483,638,564 miles away from Sun, which is 5 times more from the Earth is from the Sun. Jupiter travels this orbit at an average velocity of 47,002 km/h or 29,205 mph (half the speed of Earth), at an Orbit Inclination of 1.304°. Another interesting fact about Jupiter is the orbit circumference of Jupiter (the distance it must travel to complete 1 trip around the Sun) is 4,887,595,931 km or 3,037,011,311 miles. This long distance means it takes Jupiter 4,332.82 Earth days (almost 12 Earth years!) to complete this 1 trip around the Sun. Although Jupiter’s year is much more than Earth’s, its length of day is only 9.92496 hours (Jupiter’s day is over before we even eat lunch!). Jupiter’s axial tilt is 3.1°. The last facts on Jupiter’s orbit is that its Orbit Eccentricity (how much it deviates from a perfect circle around the Sun) is 0.04838624, which is about 3 times more than Earth.
Moons and Rings
Right when you thought that’s a lot of cool facts about Jupiter, but that is the tip of the iceberg until you get to Jupiter’s Moons and rings. There are 67 Moons orbiting Jupiter more than any other planet in our solar system. Some of the notable Moons are the Galilean moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. An interesting fact about Jupiter’s moon Ganymede is that is the largest moon in our solar system, a matter of fact; it is even larger than the planet Mercury! But the most intriguing moon is Europa, which suggests to scientist there may be existence of life on this moon because of its water ice surface. All of Jupiter’s moons are in one of its 3 Rings: “Main", “Halo" and “Gossamer".
On August 5th, 2011 NASA launched the Juno mission; the spacecraft is expected to arrive at Jupiter on July 5th, 2016. The purpose of this mission is to determine the origin and evolution of Jupiter, which ultimately will help us understand the beginnings of our solar system. The reason why scientists believe Jupiter holds the secrets to the beginning of our solar system is because like the Sun, Jupiter is mainly composed of hydrogen and helium capturing most of the material from the Sun when it was formed. Additionally unlike Earth, Jupiter’s giant mass allowed it to hold onto its original composition making it easier to trace to the beginnings of our solar system. When Juno arrives at Jupiter it will orbit 32 times around Jupiter for over a year and then it will be de-orbited and fall within Jupiter where it will most likely be destroyed.