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.
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 moonGanymede.
Use the scrollbar on the right of this window to explore the moons of Jupiter, shown to scale. (Values shown are mean distances from Jupiter, though note that several of the planet's outer satellites have eccentic orbits).