(Last Updated On: January 29, 2020)

Fun Facts about Jupiter for Kids

Dear kids, have you ever heard about a planet called Jupiter? If yes, you can read these interesting facts about what you should know. But wait, first, let us explore the exciting history of this fascinating planet.

From the history, it is interesting to learn that the Babylonians were the first people to notice the existence of planet Jupiter in between the 7th and 8th century. The word Jupiter was named after the ultimate Roman god.

That means that Jupiter was named after the Roman mythology god because it is a massive star. According to Roman mythology, Jupiter was seen as the son of planet Saturn, while Pluto and Neptune were its brothers.

The first person to discover the existence of moons on planet Jupiter was Galileo, the famous astronomer. Moreover, this planet has a massive magnetic field and has the most number of satellites compared to other planets.

The invention of modern telescopes has enabled astronomers to discover many fascinating facts about the gas giant planet. 

Fun Facts about Jupiter

If you think you know everything about planet Jupiter, you should think again. Here are some of the most impressive and amazing facts about Jupiter that will blow your mind.

1. Jupiter is a Very Massive Planet

If you never knew, Jupiter is known to be the most massive planet. For example, the mass of this planet is 1300 times as massive as planet earth.

That means you need 1300 planet Earth to make one Jupiter. If you combine the other planets in our solar system together, Jupiter will still be 2.5 times massive.

Interestingly, the more massive the planet is, the denser it becomes. Astronomers’ estimation shows that if the planet was to end today, it would be four times thicker than the current mass.

Practically, Jupiter has a diameter of 142,750 kilometers, and that means if you wanted to cover the whole width, you would travel from Australia to the US for 11 times. Isn’t that incredible!

cool jupiter facts
image source: Advancedlifeskills.com

2. Jupiter is Not, and Will Never Be a Star

Although Jupiter is a massive planet, it is not a star. It is very inappropriate for astronomers to call it a failed star. Although this planet has some characteristics that resemble that of a star, it is only a planet and will remain so.

Jupiter has both hydrogen and helium gases. However, the mass of this planet is not enough to trigger fusion at the core. Stars, on the other hand, have enough weight to trigger fusion, thus being able to generate enough energy by converting hydrogen gas into helium. The conversion process is accelerated by the enormous gravity that stars have.

Jupiter would have been able to trigger a fusion reaction if he was 70 times massive than the current mass. Sorry, Jupiter, there is no chance of you becoming a star!

3. Jupiter Has the Fastest Rotational Velocity in the Solar System

Even if Jupiter is the most massive star, it is the fastest moving planet in our solar system. It rotates at a speed of 45,300km/h, meaning that for it to complete a full rotation, it only takes 10 hours.

The spinning speed has made this planet to flatten at its poles and bulge at the equator. Astronomers have estimated that the poles are 4,600 km far away from the center.

Surprisingly, the high velocity has helped Jupiter to generate the most powerful magnetic field making the planet to have dangerous radiation around it.

4. The Clouds Surrounding on Jupiter is 50 km Thick

Did you know that all those attractive whirling storms and clouds have a radius of 25 km? Astronomers believe that those clouds are made of ammonia crystals, and those gases are very poisonous.

I know you don’t want to visit there and get exposed to acutely toxic gases and massive hurricanes. The dark materials come from the core of the planet and change the color after reacting with the sunlight.

What people see below the clouds is hydrogen and helium gasses. However, clouds are unique and divided into cloud belts.

5. The Present Red Spot Has Been Around For a Long Time.

Jupiter has a Great Red Spot that usually distinguishes it from other planets. It is only seen as a spot because it is very far away, but it is a persistent anticyclone storm. The spot has a diameter of 24,000 km and is located in the south of the equator.

The spot is large enough to cover two to three planets that have the same size as planet Earth. The spot has been there for more than 350 years. Giovanni Cassini was the first astronomer to identify the Great Red Spot in 1665.

It was until the 20th century that astronomers started to figure out what caused the red spot appearance. Voyager 1 confirmed the theories that, indeed, the red spot appearance was being caused by the fast-moving atmosphere.

From the comparison of before pictures and the current pictures, the spot appears to be shrinking. In the 17th century, the diameter of the spot was about 40,000 km. It is not clear if the place will disappear completely some years to come, or if a new one might emerge in the future.

cool jupiter facts
Image source: cdn.images.express.co.uk

6. Jupiter Has a Ring

Most teachers emphasize Saturn having a ring, but the truth is even Jupiter and Uranus has their ring system. Jupiter’s rings were discovered later. They were recently found with the aid of very powerful telescopes.

The circles surrounding Jupiter are particularly faint. It is composed of three main segments, the halo while the outer ring is called a gossamer ring. Astronomers believe that the rings come from residues from the moons when the meteorites stick them.

The main rings are believed to be produced by the satellites of Adrastea and Metis. Instead of the materials falling back from their moons, they fell on the orbit because of strong gravitational forces caused by Jupiter.

Afterward, the materials depleted and regularly replenished, thus creating the rings.

cool jupiter facts

 

Image source: www.phy.mtu.edu

7. Jupiter Has 79 Moons

You are wrong if you thought Jupiter had only one moon. So far, astronomers have discovered 79 moons found in Jupiter. With the aid of powerful telescopes, more than 200 natural satellites are seen orbiting that planet.

Most of the visible satellites have a diameter which is less than 10 kilometers. However, Galilean Moons are four major moons on that planet and were named after Galileo Galilei, who was the first person to discover them.

The moons are lo, Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede. These four moons are among the largest moons in our solar system. For example, Ganymede has a diameter of 5262 kilometers and is more significant than Mercury.

To make a complete orbit, Ganymede is an icy moon that takes approximately seven days to complete its orbit. Lo moon, on the other hand, has lava lakes and dangerous volcanoes. Lo moon has mountains with a height of 16 kilometers.

If you believe in seeing first, grab your pair of binoculars at a clear night, and you will enjoy seeing some of Jupiter’s moons. Isn’t that wonderful?

8. Jupiter Has Strongest Magnetic Fields

Did you know that Jupiter’s magnetic fields are the strongest in the solar system? Jupiter’s magnetic field is 14 times stronger than that of our planet.

Astronomers assume that the strong magnetic field is enhanced by the movement of hydrogen gas found deep at the inside of the plane.

The magnetic field is responsible for attracting the ionized particles and rotates them at almost the speed of light. That’s fast, isn’t it?

Strong magnetic fields increase radiation of the planet, thus damaging all the spacecraft that attempt to turn around there. The four largest moons actually orbit within the magnetosphere that protects them from strong solar winds.

 

9. Spacecrafts Have Visited Jupiter Seven Times

It is refreshing to know the number of times astronomers have sent spacecraft to the moon.

Well, the first spacecraft was NASA’s pioneer ten, which was launched in December 1973. Later, astronomers sent Pioneer 11 the following year. Voyager 1 and 2 were then sent to the planet Jupiter in1979.

After taking a very long break, astronomers launched Ulysses in 1992, and Galileo followed suit in 1995. In 2000, the Cassini caused a flyby on its way to planet Saturn. NASA’s New Horizon made the last attempt in 2007.

Although there is no recent attempt by astronomers to visit the planet, maybe they will sooner launch another visit.

10. Jupiter Can Be Seen With Our Naked Eyes

If you never knew, after Venus and the Moon, Jupiter is the third in brightness. There might be many instances that you have seen Jupiter with your naked eyes but didn’t recognize it.

If by chance at night you view a very bright star, grab your pair of binoculars since they will help you see it better.

If your telescopes are more advanced, you might spot some specks of light orbiting the planet. The specks visible are, in fact, the Galilean moons.

Image source: en.es-static.us

Now you have discovered some cool facts about Jupiter that you didn’t know. The facts are indeed super useful, aren’t they?

 


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