Jupiter

Jupiter


All the planets in our solar system could fit inside Jupiter.


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Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. Jupiter is so big that all the other planets in the solar system could fit inside it. More than 1,300 Earths would fit inside Jupiter.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun. From Earth, it is almost always the second brightest planet in the night sky. Venus is brighter. The planet is named after another Jupiter. He was the king of the gods in old Roman stories.

The planet Jupiter is not solid like Earth is. Jupiter is made of gases. It is made of the same things that stars are made of. In fact, Jupiter would have become a star if it were about 80 times bigger.

The planet is a giant ball of gas. So Jupiter is called a "gas giant" planet. The planet is covered in thick red, brown, yellow, and white clouds. The clouds make the planet look like it has stripes. Jupiter is very windy. Its winds blow more than 400 mph. That is faster than hurricanes and tornadoes!

Jupiter is famous for its Great Red Spot. The swirling, red spot is a giant spinning storm. It looks like a hurricane. Almost 3 1/2 Earths would fit across the storm.

Jupiter has three thin rings. Its rings are not like Saturn's rings. Jupiter's rings are hard to see. NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft found the rings in 1979. Jupiter's rings are made up mostly of tiny bits of dust.

Jupiter rotates, or spins, faster than any other planet. Earth takes almost 24 hours to spin once. Jupiter only takes 10. So a day on Jupiter is about 10 hours long. It is so far from the sun that, Jupiter takes 12 Earth years to make one trip around the sun. That means one year on Jupiter is 12 years on Earth.

It is very cold on Jupiter. Gravity is different, too. There is more gravity on Jupiter than on Earth. Someone who weighs 100 pounds on Earth would weigh about 240 pounds on Jupiter.

A new spacecraft is now at Jupiter. Its name is Juno. NASA's Juno spacecraft launched in 2011. On July 4, 2016, Juno arrived at Jupiter. It did not land. It is flying around or orbiting, Jupiter. Juno is taking the first pictures of Jupiter's north and south poles.


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