What Is Jupiter's Atmosphere Made up Of?

jupiter-s-atmosphere-made-up Credit: VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

The atmosphere of Jupiter consists of 90 percent hydrogen gas and nearly 10 percent helium. However, its atmosphere has trace amounts of ammonia, sulfur and water vapor. Jupiter is a gas giant that is also the biggest planet in the solar system.

Jupiter's diameter at the equator is approximately 89,000 miles. Clouds cover Jupiter's surface, and a prominent feature is the Great Red Spot, which is a massive hurricane-like storm. This storm has lasted about 350 years. Jupiter has strong winds that are between 192 to 400 miles per hour. It has a very strong magnetic field.

The temperature on Jupiter is about -108 degrees Celsius. It takes Jupiter 11.8 Earth years to rotate about the sun. It has a fast rotation about its axis. Jupiter has three known rings and over 60 moons or satellites. Some moons are Io, Europa and Ganymede. With a diameter of 5,268 kilometers, Ganymede is the biggest moon. It is bigger than the planet Mercury.

Many spacecrafts have visited Jupiter, including Cassini, Voyager 2 and Pioneer 2. In 2016, the Juno mission is expected to explore the planet.

Jupiter is a bright planet in the solar system and ancient civilizations were aware of its existence. Its name comes from the king of the Roman gods.