TOP 10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT JUPITER.
Jupiter was appropriately named after the king of the gods. It’s massive, has a powerful magnetic field, and more moons that any planet in the Solar System. In short, there are countless interesting facts about this gas giant that many people just don’t know about. And we here at HELLO FACTS have taken the liberty of compiling a list of ten particularly interesting ones that we think will fascinate and surprise you.
As we all probably know, Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System. If we were to compare it to our planet, it’d be about 318 times bigger, and if we were to combine all the planets in the Solar System, Jupiter would be about 2,5 bigger than those combined. Most experts say that if Jupiter was to gain additional mass, it would shrink, due to the fact that the density increase would make it start pulling it in on itself.
2. Jupiter cannot become a star.
Most scientists call Jupiter a “failed star”, but that is not quite revelatory. While it is true that Jupiter can be technically deemed a star due to its massive concentrations of hydrogen and helium, it does not have enough mass for it to actually trigger a fusion reaction in the core. Stars generate energy by merging atoms together under extreme heat and pressure conditions, which creates helium and generates light and heat. For Jupiter to be able to do this, it’d need 70 times its current mass, which is quite unlikely to happen in the time span of our lives if never.
For a planet of its size and mass, Jupiter rotates at around 45,300 km/h, or 28,148 mph, which makes it capable of completing a full axis rotation in merely 10 hours. Due to this speed, the planet is flattened out at the poles and bulging at its equator. Jupiter’s polar radius measures about 66,854 ± 10 km and its equator diameter measures 71,492 ± 4 km. The existence of the powerful magnetic fields is also owed to the “light heading” speed.
4. Jupiter’s clouds are only 50 km thick.You’ve probably seen photos of how Jupiter looks on the inside, with all those whirling clouds and persistent storms and whatnot, but you probably did not know that those clouds are only 50 km thick, which is actually quite low. The clouds themselves are made of a lot of chemical components, including but not limited to ammonia crystals broken up into two different cloud decks. Under these clouds, there’s no solid mass though – only hydrogen and helium are to be found.
The Great Red Spot, as scientists like to coin it, was first noticed in the 17th century by an Italian astronomer going by the name of Giovanni Cassini, but couldn’t truly outline what it was. By the 20th century, plausible theories started to arise, that it was in fact a storm created by Jupiter’s ever-changing and turbulent atmosphere. These theories were later confirmed by Voyager 1’s mission in 1979.
Ever since Cassini’s discovery, it appears that it’s begun to noticeably shrinking in size. Cassini said that the Great Red Spot sized 40,000 km, but Voyager noticed that it was only about 20,000 km in size. Astronomers say that even if the Great Red Spot was to disappear soon, another one would emerge anyway.
Jupiter’s rings were discovered pretty late due to their washed out state. The rings consist of three main sections: an inner torus of particles known as “the halo”, a bright main ring and a gossamer ring. The main ring is rumored to be made of material coming from Adrastea and Metis, while the moons of Thebe and Amalthea are known to create the two different components of the gossamer ring.
And it is actually the strongest magnetic field in all the Solar System. Astronomers are of the opinion that the magnetic field is generated by strongly moving currents, e.g. hasty movements of conducting material
Officially, astronauts have admitted the existence of 67 moons, but unofficially, the planet has over 200 natural that constantly orbit it. Thing is, they’re barely noticeable, as most of them do not exceed 10 kilometers in diameter.
Not by humans, since that’d be impossible, but by spacecrafts. The first spacecraft to ever visit the planet is NASA’s Pioneer 10 in December 1973, then Voyager 1 and 2, shortly followed by Ulysses, Cassini and New Horizons.
You might have seen Jupiter in the clear night sky before; it’s just that you may have mistaken it for an actual star. Although it is quite impossible to differentiate a star from an actual planet, a good trick would be to catch a glimpse of the brightest one; chances are, you might be looking at Jupiter itself. If you can dispose of an average binocular, use it… it might be very useful.