Fifth Planet of the Solar System

Proper NameJupiter
Sidereal Period11.87 years
Mean Distance from the Sun778.3 million km
5.21 AU
Sidereal Day9.8 hours
Diameter142,985 km
Mean Surface Temperature-108°C
MoonsAdrastea, Amalthea, Ananke, Callisto, Carme, Elara, Europa, Ganymede, Himalia, Io, Leda, Lysithea, Metis, Pasiphaë, Sinope, Thebe; many other small moons
Map of Jupiter

Jupiter has no permanent surface, so a fixed map of the planet cannot be produced. Nonetheless, there are some persistent features, such as its pattern of atmospheric belts, and the famous Great Red Spot.

Appropriately named after the king of the Roman gods, Jupiter dwarfs the other worlds of the Solar System. It is perhaps most famous for its Great Red Spot, but its four prominent Galilean moons are also a distinguishing feature.

Jupiter and Io

The majestic world of Jupiter, by far the largest of the Sun's family of planets. To the far right of this image is Jupiter's moon Io, a body almost exactly the same size as Earth's Moon. The tiny shadow cast by Io can be seen in Jupiter's equatorial regions.

Jupiter through Galileo's Telescope

A moment in history: Jupiter as it was first observed by Galileo on 7 January 1610. Galileo initially mistook Jupiter's bright companions for background stars, but he soon reached the revolutionary realisation that he was seeing moons circling another planet. From left to right, the moons seen here are Callisto, Europa and Io (so close they appear as a single body) and, on the other side of Jupiter, the giant moon Ganymede.

Size Comparison of Jupiter

Jupiter is by far the largest and most massive of the planets in the Solar System. With a diameter more than eleven times that of Earth, it dwarfs our own small blue planet.


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