Content for Jupiter

Jupiter

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with a mass more than two and a half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined, but slightly less than one-thousandth the mass of the Sun. Jupiter is the third-brightest natural object in the Earth's night sky after the Moon and Venus. It has been observed since pre-historic times and is named after the Roman god Jupiter, the king of the gods, because of its observed size. Jupiter is primarily composed of hydrogen, but helium comprises one quarter of its mass and one tenth of its volume. It likely has a rocky core of heavier elements, but like the other giant planets, Jupiter lacks a well-defined solid surface. The on-going contraction of its interior generates heat greater than the amount received from the Sun. Because of its rapid rotation, the planet's shape is that of an oblate spheroid; it has a slight but noticeable bulge around the equator. The outer atmosphere is visibly segregated into several bands at different latitudes, with turbulence and storms along their interacting boundaries. A prominent result of this is the Great Red Spot, a giant storm that is known to have existed since at least the 17th century, when it was first seen by telescope.

NASA’s Juno: Science Results Offer First 3D View of Jupiter Atmosphere

“New findings from NASA’s Juno probe orbiting Jupiter provide a fuller picture of how the planet’s distinctive and colorful atmospheric features offer clues about the unseen processes below its clouds. The results highlight the inner workings of the …

40-Year Mystery Solved: Source of Jupiter’s X-Ray Flares Uncovered

“A puzzler about the gas giant’s intense northern and southern lights has been deciphered. Planetary astronomers combined measurements taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter, with data from ESA’s (the European Space Agency’s) Earth-orbiting XMM-Newton …

Surface of Jupiter’s Moon Europa Churned by Small Impacts

“Jupiter’s moon Europa and its global ocean may currently have conditions suitable for life. Scientists are studying processes on the icy surface as they prepare to explore. It’s easy to see the impact of space debris on our …

NASA’s Juno to Get a Close Look at Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede

“On Monday, June 7, at 1:35 p.m. EDT (10:35 a.m. PDT), NASA’s Juno spacecraft will come within 645 miles (1,038 kilometers) of the surface of Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede. The flyby will be …

Europa’s Interior May Be Hot Enough to Fuel Seafloor Volcanoes

“Jupiter’s moon Europa has an icy crust covering a vast, global ocean. The rocky layer underneath may be hot enough to melt, leading to undersea volcanoes. New research and computer modeling show that volcanic activity may have occurred on …