Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. A gigantic ball of gases, mainly hydrogen about 90 percent – helium about 10% with some methane and ammonia. All under high pressure. The planet has no solid surface and is always surrounded by bright and dark cloud belts which are in constant turbulence, the most famous being the Great Red Spot, a huge whirlwind about 30-40,000 km. long and about l4000 km. wide or about 3-4 times the size of Earth.
Jupiter has a very fast rotation, about 10 hours, compared to the solid planets, which causes a significant pressure at the poles. The planet also has a weak ring system, which is completely invisible from Earth.
- Average distance from the Sun: 778.3 million kilometres
- Size: 142000 km (diameter)
- Orbital period around the Sun: 4332.5 days or 11.8 years
- Mass:(kg.) 1.899 x 1027
- Surface temperature:17 to 870 degrees
- Length of day: 9.8 hours
- Number of moons: 92 – the 4 largest Callisto, Ganymedes, Europe and Io are easily seen in binoculars
- Model: 778 m from the Sun
- Model: 14.3 cm. (diameter)