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King of the Planets
The most massive planet in our solar system -- with dozens of moons and an enormous magnetic field -- Jupiter forms a kind of miniature solar system. It resembles a star in composition, but did not grow big enough to ignite. The planet's swirling cloud stripes are punctuated by massive storms such as the Great Red Spot, which has raged for hundreds of years.

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Jumpin' Jupiter
There are no rockets powerful enough to hurl a spacecraft into the outer solar system and beyond. In 1962, scientists calculated how to use Jupiter's intense gravity to hurl spacecraft into the farthest regions of the solar system. We've been traveling farther and faster ever since.
Jumpin' Jupiter
Storm of the Centuries
Jupiter's Great Red Spot is so large that almost three Earths could fit across it. The hurricane-like storm is at least 300 years old.
Storm of the Centuries
Mighty Moon
With a diameter of 5,262 km (3,270 miles) Jupiter's Ganymede is the largest moon in our solar system -- bigger even than Mercury and Pluto. If Ganymede orbited the sun instead of Jupiter, it could easily be called a planet.
Mighty Moon
Hail to the King
Jupiter is by far the largest of the planets. If it were hollow, more than 1,300 Earths could fit inside of it. The giant planet contains two-thirds of all the planetary mass in the solar system and holds more than 60 moons in its gravitational grip.
Hail to the King
Planet-Sized Pizza?
Jupiter's moon Io is the most volcanically active body in our solar system. Active volcanoes constantly spew material onto Io's surface. The moon's bizarre, blotted yellowish surface looks more like a pepperoni pizza than like the cratered surfaces of the other moons in our solar system.
Planet-Sized Pizza?
The Hot Zone
Jupiter is not a people-friendly place. Radiation levels encountered by spacecraft visiting Jupiter are more than 1,000 times the lethal level for a human. Even heavily-shielded spacecraft like Galileo were damaged by the radiation.
The Hot Zone
Family Reunion
Every so often Jupiter's moons, Io, Ganymede and Callisto cross in front of their parent planet at the same time. This rare alignment, known as a triple eclipse, happens only once or twice a decade.
Family Reunion
Comet Collision
The breaking up of a comet into several pieces is not usual, the capture of a comet into Jupiter orbit is even more unusual and the collision of a large comet with a planet is extremely unusual. However, it happened in July of 1994 and we have pictures too.
Comet Collision
A Star is Born ... Not Quite
Jupiter could have been a star -- well if it was 80 times more massive it could have been. This is because Jupiter's composition is similar to the sun's -- being made up mostly of hydrogen and helium. Actually, the Jupiter system of moons and rings is sometimes referred to as a miniature solar system.
A Star is Born ... Not Quite
Entourage
Jupiter has the most moons in the solar system with a whopping number of 67. However, only 50 of those have been confirmed and named, so in fact Saturn takes the title of "Most Moons" with its 53. Once Jupiter's 17 more provisional moons are confirmed, Jupiter will not only be the king of the planets, but king of the moon count too.
Entourage
Jumpin' Jupiter
There are no rockets powerful enough to hurl a spacecraft into the outer solar system and beyond. In 1962, scientists calculated how to use Jupiter's intense gravity to hurl spacecraft into the farthest regions of the solar system. We've been traveling farther and faster ever since.
Jumpin' Jupiter
Storm of the Centuries
Jupiter's Great Red Spot is so large that almost three Earths could fit across it. The hurricane-like storm is at least 300 years old.
Storm of the Centuries
Mighty Moon
With a diameter of 5,262 km (3,270 miles) Jupiter's Ganymede is the largest moon in our solar system -- bigger even than Mercury and Pluto. If Ganymede orbited the sun instead of Jupiter, it could easily be called a planet.
Mighty Moon
Hail to the King
Jupiter is by far the largest of the planets. If it were hollow, more than 1,300 Earths could fit inside of it. The giant planet contains two-thirds of all the planetary mass in the solar system and holds more than 60 moons in its gravitational grip.
Hail to the King
Planet-Sized Pizza?
Jupiter's moon Io is the most volcanically active body in our solar system. Active volcanoes constantly spew material onto Io's surface. The moon's bizarre, blotted yellowish surface looks more like a pepperoni pizza than like the cratered surfaces of the other moons in our solar system.
Planet-Sized Pizza?
The Hot Zone
Jupiter is not a people-friendly place. Radiation levels encountered by spacecraft visiting Jupiter are more than 1,000 times the lethal level for a human. Even heavily-shielded spacecraft like Galileo were damaged by the radiation.
The Hot Zone
Family Reunion
Every so often Jupiter's moons, Io, Ganymede and Callisto cross in front of their parent planet at the same time. This rare alignment, known as a triple eclipse, happens only once or twice a decade.
Family Reunion
Comet Collision
The breaking up of a comet into several pieces is not usual, the capture of a comet into Jupiter orbit is even more unusual and the collision of a large comet with a planet is extremely unusual. However, it happened in July of 1994 and we have pictures too.
Comet Collision
A Star is Born ... Not Quite
Jupiter could have been a star -- well if it was 80 times more massive it could have been. This is because Jupiter's composition is similar to the sun's -- being made up mostly of hydrogen and helium. Actually, the Jupiter system of moons and rings is sometimes referred to as a miniature solar system.
A Star is Born ... Not Quite
Entourage
Jupiter has the most moons in the solar system with a whopping number of 67. However, only 50 of those have been confirmed and named, so in fact Saturn takes the title of "Most Moons" with its 53. Once Jupiter's 17 more provisional moons are confirmed, Jupiter will not only be the king of the planets, but king of the moon count too.
Entourage