[2015] Erica Esper: Jupiter

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by JMackey
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[2015] Erica Esper: Jupiter

Jupiter has 62 known moons. Its four largest moons are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Galileo Galilei, an Italian astronomer, discovered these moons in 1610.

Jupiter's atmosphere is made up of mostly hydrogen and helium gas, just like the sun. Its surface is covered in thick red, brown, yellow and white clouds.

Jupiter is the fifth and longest planet in the solar system. It is approximately 89,000 miles wide at its equator. Jupiter is so large that all of the other planets in the solar system could fit inside it!

One of Jupiter's most famous features is known as the Great Red Spot. It is a giant spinning storm that has been around for more than 300 years! At the storms' widest point, it is about three-and-a-half times the diameter of Earth!

The force of gravity on Jupiter is about 2.34 times the force of gravity on the surface of the Earth. A person who weighs 100lbs. on Earth would weigh 234lbs. on Jupiter!

Jupiter rotates quicker than any other planet. One rotation equals one day (10 hrs. long). It takes 12 Earth years for Jupiter to make one revolution around the sun, so a year on Jupiter is equivalent to 12 yrs. on Earth.

In Jupiter's clouds, the temperature is about minus 234 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the temperature near the planets center is much hotter: about 43,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That's hotter than the surface of the sun!

Jupiter has an extremely powerful magnetic field. Deep under its clouds is a large ocean of liquid metallic hydrogen. As the planet spins, the swirling ocean creates the strongest magnetic field in the solar system.

Astronomers, such as Galileo Galilei (shown above) , have used telescopes on Earth to study Jupiter. NASA has sent 8 spacecrafts to Jupiter to study the planet's atmosphere, surface, moons, and rings.

Today, a new spacecraft named Juno is on its way to Jupiter. The spacecraft was launched in August of 2011 and will arrive at Jupiter in 2016.



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