Jupiter: 10 shocking facts about the massive gas giant you didn’t know

1. Jupiter is massive

The mass of Jupiter is 318 times as massive as the Earth. Jupiter is 2.5 times more massive than all of the other planets in the Solar System combined.

2. If Jupiter got any more massive, it would get smaller.

Additional mass would actually make the planet denser, which would cause it to start pulling it in on itself.

3. Jupiter is the fourth brightest object in the solar system.

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It is one of five planets visible to the naked eye from Earth. Only the Sun, moon, and Venus are brighter.

4. Jupiter is the fastest spinning planet in the solar system.

For all its size and mass, Jupiter sure moves quickly. In fact, with a rotational velocity of 12.6 km/s, the planet only takes about 10 hours to complete a full rotation on its axis. 

5. It has dangerous radiation surrounding it.

This rapid rotation also helps generate Jupiter’s powerful magnetic fields and contributes to its dangerous radiation.

6. The great red spot has been around for a long time.

Image: NASA

It measures between 24,000 km in diameter and 12–14,000 km in height. As such, it is large enough to contain two or three planets the size of Earth’s diameter. And the spot has been around for at least 350 years.

7. Jupiter has rings.

Image: Wikipedia
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Saturn is not the only planet with rings. Jupiter and Uranus also have rings but are faint.

8. Jupiter has 53 named moons.

Another 26 awaiting official names.

9. Jupiter’s moon Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system.

Image: NASA

Ganymede measures 5,268 km across, making it larger than the planet Mercury.

10. Jupiter does not experience seasons.

Like all other planets, Jupiter cant experience seasons as the axis is only tilted by 3.13 degrees.

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