11 Out of This World Facts About Jupiter
How much do you know about the biggest planet in the solar system, Jupiter? It's time to find out with these awesome facts!
Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system, and also one of the coolest! It towers over teeny Earth, and there's a reason why it's called a gas giant! But do you know anything about Jupiter? Well, today we're going to find out 11 epic facts about this ginormous planet! Discover what Jupiter is made of, how many moons it has and which Roman god its named after! And check out more space facts here! How about these magical moon landing facts? Or maybe you're in the mood for some marvellous facts about Mars?
1. It's the Biggest Planet in Our Solar System
Jupiter is easily the biggest of all the planets in our solar system. In fact, it's twice as big as ALL the other planets combined! And it's 11 times bigger than Earth -that's pretty huge! In terms of our own planet, Earth, Jupiter is 11 times wider than us too - or, to -put it another way, if Earth was as big as a penny, Jupiter would be a basketball!
2. It's A Gas Giant
Jupiter is what's known as a 'gas giant' - and no, that's not your big brother who loves farting, it's a type of planet! Earth is made of solid matter, but Jupiter is basically one big gas cloud. It's made up of gases instead of stuff like earth and rock. The main gases that make up Jupiter are ammonia, water, hydrogen and helium! These gases swirl around on the planets face and create those pretty shapes we know Jupiter for! And luckily, from here, we can't smell it!
3. It's Got A Whole Lotta Moons
80 to be exact! And there's probably more! It's most famous and largest moons - Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto were all discovered by none other than Galileo Galilei (Yup, that's right, the guy with the telescope). Some of its moons are yet to be named, but some of these best names of Jupiter's moons include Thebe, Eurydome and Praxidike! Some of these moons could also support life! Moons like Callisto may have potential for water, which would mean organisms are a possibility!
4. It's Named After A Roman God
Like almost all of the planets in our Solar System, Jupiter is named after a Roman god, and since its the biggest, it's named after the head god, Jupiter (or Zeus in Ancient Greece). Jupiter's job was to make sure none of the other gods got up to too much mischief.
5. It's The Fastest Planet In The Solar System
Jupiter is the fastest planet in the solar system - it spins on its axis once ever 10 Earth hours, whilst it takes us 24! You must be glad you don't live there, because you'd probably get dizzy! That's 29,236 miles per hour! Phew!
6. It Has Skin Problems
Well, sort of! Jupiter is famous for its 'Great Red Spot' but what is that exactly? Well, it's actually a permanent storm (made of different gases) on the face of the planet! It's been going for hundreds or years, and what's more - it's bigger than the whole of Earth! Can you imagine?
7. It Has Rings But They're Very Faint
When we think of a planet with rings, the most obvious one to come to mind is Saturn, Jupiter's next door neighbour. But in actual fact, Jupiter also has rings! These rings are much fainter than Saturn's, so they can't really be seen, but they're there! They were first discovered in 1979 and were probably formed by the debris of smashed up meteorites now orbiting the planet.
8. It's Visible to the Naked Eye
Yup, on a clear bright night you can see Jupiter with your own two eyes (or however many eyes you've got) . It's very bright and yellow, and can be seen as a white dot. Have you spotted it? Or do you have a telescope you could use to see it even better?
9. You Couldn't Survive on Jupiter
In fact, you wouldn't even be able to land on Jupiter, since it doesn't really have a surface! On top of that, it's climate is very unfriendly to humans. It's pressures and climate would squash you into a little cube as soon as you got near it, which doesn't sound like much fun!
10. It Has Very Long Years
Earth completes an orbit of the sun every 365 days, but it takes Jupiter a whopping 12 earth years to do one orbit! So that means that if you were born on Jupiter (unlikely) you'd only get a birthday ever 12 years! That sounds pretty rubbish to us!
11. But the Shortest Days
Jupiter has very very long years, but very very short days! In fact, they're only about ten hours long- that's less than half of an Earth day! Life on Jupiter doesn't sound very fun to be honest, there's barely any time to do anything! Jupiter looks super cool, but let's face it, as far as homes go - Earth is miles better!