Jupiter, The Giant Planet
Jupiter is the 5th planet from the Sun. It is located 483,800,000 miles from the Sun. In the picture below you can see that Jupiter is the fifth planet away from the Sun.
Why is Jupiter Called The Giant Planet?
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. In fact, more than 1,200 Earths would be able to fit in Jupiter! As we learned earlier in this unit, the larger an object is the more gravity it has. The planet Jupiter has more gravity than Earth. It's stronger gravitational force has allowed Jupiter to collect over 63 moons! That's right, Earth is not the only planet that has a moon or moons. Larger planets like Jupiter could have multiple moons. Take a look at the photo below that shows Jupiter's massive size compared to Earth.
What Makes up Jupiter?
Jupiter is made almost entirely of gas. In fact, the rest of the planets on our journey are called "gas giants." Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune all share the same make up as Jupiter. This was similar to the first four planets we visited, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars that all had a similar make up of a core, mantle, and crust. Jupiter is made up of 90% hydrogen and 10% helium, both gases. If you were to fall to Jupiter there would be no land to fall on because it is made entirely of gas. Since Jupiter has no surface, the whole planet is atmosphere. This atmosphere is very dense. However Jupiter is still fairly cold because it is distant from the Sun. The temperature at the cloud surfaces of Jupiter are about -270 degrees Fahrenheit.
Play Some Tunes While You Learn!
The song below is called "Drops of Jupiter" by the band TRAIN. The song mentions some space terms that we have been talking about through our Unit. I know I know, it's not One Direction, but give it a chance.
How Long Does it Take Jupiter to Orbit the Sun?
It takes Jupiter almost 12 (11.58) Earth years to orbit the Sun! The planets we are visiting are getting further and further from the Sun. Their orbit times will keep increasing the further away from the Sun we get.
That's Some Wild Weather!
Although it takes Jupiter almost 12 times as long to orbit the Sun, Jupiter rotates (spins) much faster than the Earth. It takes Jupiter about 10 hours to make a full rotation (one day on Jupiter is only 10 hours). This faster rotation and the heat Jupiter gives off cause Jupiter's thick atmosphere to become unsettled . Large windstorms and thunderstorms can be found all over the atmosphere of Jupiter. The biggest storm known on Jupiter is called The Giant Red Spot. The Giant Red Spot is a storm on Jupiter that has been happening in the same spot for at least the last 400 years! It is three times as large as Earth. The Giant Red Spot spins counter-clockwise, opposite to our storms on Earth. Winds within the it can blow over 270 mph. This would compare to the winds of some of the strongest tornadoes to ever happen on Earth blowing in one area all the time. The photo below points out The Giant Red Spot Storm on Jupiter. Also watch the video below that describes the weather on Jupiter.
Below is a video that gives a summary about what we have learned about Jupiter. It also gives us some new information so take a look!
Time to Share!
How do hurricanes on Earth compare to the Red spot on Jupiter?