A unique characteristic of Jupiter is that it's the largest planet in the solar system. It contains the Great Red Spot, a storm that has been observed for hundreds of years. Some scientists believe the storm is permanent.Continue Reading
Jupiter is about 318 times as massive as Earth. Even the Great Red Spot is about two or three times bigger than Earth. Astronomers believe that if Jupiter had been more massive, it would have ignited and become a star itself.
Jupiter has actually shrunk in size since it was first formed. Scientists believe that the planet is shrinking at the rate of about 0.8 inches per year. It was also much hotter when it was first formed than it is as of 2014.
Besides the Great Red Spot, Jupiter has bands of swirling cloud layers. The Great Red Spot also rotates counterclockwise and takes six days to circumnavigate the planet.
Jupiter has a system of faint rings. The planet's magnetosphere is about 14 times stronger than Earth's.
Jupiter has a vast number of moons. Scientists believe there are about 67. Fifty of them have been confirmed. The Jovian day lasts 10 Earth hours, though the Jovian year takes 12 Earth years. Jupiter was named after the chief Roman god.Learn more about Planets
Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is most visible when it reaches opposition to the sun every 398.9 days on average. In March 2014, the planet was located in the Gemini constellation, making it appear bright against the night sky.Full Answer >
Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system and has more than double the mass of the other planets in the solar system combined. Being the largest and most massive planet in the solar system isn't Jupiter's only distinction, though, as the gas giant is distinguished in several unique ways.Full Answer >
Jupiter rotates at a speed of 28,273 miles per hour, making it the fastest rotating planet in the solar system. Unlike other planets, Jupiter is mainly made up of gases, which is why it does not rotate as slowly as the others. The only other planet made of gas is Saturn.Full Answer >
Similar to the formation of other planets in the solar system, Jupiter was formed through the core accretion method. Jupiter likely formed after the sun took its place at the center of the early solar system. Jupiter was one of the first planets to form in the solar system and likely created the path and formation of other planets by deflecting small planets either into orbit or into the sun.Full Answer >