10 Need-to-Know Things About Jupiter:
- If the sun were as tall as a typical front door, the Earth would be the size of a nickel and Jupiter would be about as big as a basketball.
- Jupiter orbits our sun, a star. Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun at a distance of about 778 million km (484 million miles) or 5.2 AU.
- One day on Jupiter takes about 10 hours (the time it takes for Jupiter to rotate or spin once). Jupiter makes a complete orbit around the sun (a year in Jovian time) in about 12 Earth years (4,333 Earth days).
- Jupiter is a gas-giant planet and therefore does not have a solid surface. However, it is predicted that Jupiter has an inner, solid core about the size of the Earth.
- Jupiter's atmosphere is made up mostly of hydrogen (H2) and helium (He).
- Jupiter has 50 known moons, with an additional 17 moons awaiting confirmation of their discovery -- that is a total of 67 moons.
- Jupiter has a faint ring system that was discovered in 1979 by the Voyager 2 mission.
- Many missions have visited Jupiter and its system of moons. The Juno mission will arrive at Jupiter in 2016.
- Jupiter cannot support life as we know it. However, some of Jupiter's moons have oceans underneath their crusts that might support life.
- Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a gigantic storm (about the size of two to three Earths) that has been raging for hundreds of years.
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