Jupiter - The Largest Planet
Basic facts : - Across the asteroid belt is the planet Jupiter that is the
largest of all the planets. It has a diameter measuring 142,800 Km. more
than 11 times that of the earth. In terms of order, Jupiter is the fifth
planet from the sun. It is about 62 a million Km from our earth.
Jupiter has its axis almost perpendicular with a nominal tilt of only 30.
It is a very fast spinning planet. It completes its one round of rotation in
only 9 hours and 55 minutes. Its orbit is egg-shaped and it goes once round
the sun in about 4333 earth days (about 12 earth years)
Special features of Jupiter :-
The Jupiter is sun rounded by layers of dance clouds made up of frozen
crystals of two gases - ammonia and methane. It is believed to be mostly
gaseous and nominally liquid. When seen through a telescope, Jupiter appears
with a series of belts of dark lines across its surface parallel to its
equator. These belts keep changing their positions and the zones between
them are light coloured. A large oval mark - Great - Red - spot- can also be
seen on its surface.
(Jupiter atmosphere consists of 84% hydrogen, 15% helium and 1% other gases)
Its core is believed to have an iron-bearing solid rock about the size of
(The top of Jupiter's clouds has an average temperature of 1490C)
Beneath them, it rises higher and higher to reach about 29000C. But the
surface temperature has not been determined so far. Its central core may be
about 240000C. It has a fainting around it which was discovered in 1979 by
Jupiter has 16 known moons, four of them being very large while the others
very small. The four large moons of Jupiter were discovered by Galileo in
1610 A.D. So, They are known as Galileo Moons too. Very fast rotation of
this planet leads to very high winds on it.