Jupiter is a gas giant planet, and the largest planet in the Solar System. It is the innermost of the gas giants, orbiting between the Asteroid belt and Saturn.

True-colour composite view taken by Cassini on December 7, 2000
Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Facts About Jupiter:

  • Jupiter contains 2½ times the mass of all the other planets in the Solar System combined.
  • It is a gas giant planet, with no solid surface. If you tried to land on Jupiter you'd just sink into the planet.
  • The most famous feature is the Great Red Spot, a storm bigger than the planet Earth that has been raging for hundreds of years. It may be getting weaker and one day will probably vanish altogether (we have no idea how long that might take).
  • Jupiter also has a "Little Red Spot".
  • On average, it has the 3rd brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus.
  • It is composed mostly of hydrogen (88-92%) and helium (8-12%).
  • It may have a rocky core of heavier elements.

See also:

Classification: Planet, gas giant (orbiting Sun)
Names:  Jupiter, Sol 5, Pareārau
Distance:  7.78e+08 km (00 ly)
Satellites:  79
Naming:  The Roman king of gods.
Magnitude:  2.9400 (app)
Diameter:  142984 km
Surface Temperature:  165 K
Rotation period:  9 hrs 50 mins (eq) 9 hrs 55 mins (high latitude)
Axial Tilt:  3.1300 °
Surface Pressure:  10000000 hPa
Semi-major axis:  1.00000000
Orbital Period:  4332.5900
Orbital Speed:  13.0700 km/s
Angular Size:  50.10
Albedo:  0.3430
Escape Velocity:  59.5000 km/s
Adjective:  Jovian
Jupiter Cutaway