The Universe Made Simple/The Solar System/Jupiter


Jupiter follows Mars. Jupiter has high velocity winds confined in wide bands of latitude. It is most known for the great red spot which has been seen for 300 years. Its oval shape is big enough to fit two earths. The rotation of Jupiter is gradual slowing down due to the tidal drag produced by the satellites. A little known fact about Jupiter is that it has rings like Saturn’s but much thinner. They are dark and composed of very small grains of rocky material. In the grand scheme of things, the rings will most likely not last much longer.

Jupiter does not have a solid surface. It instead consists of gaseous material which just becomes denser with depth. It is essentially 90% hydrogen and 10% helium. The composition is similar to that of Saturn. However not much is known about the interior. It is most likely a rocky core with liquid metallic hydrogen above the care. The interior does have a temperature of 20,000° K. The magnetic field is much stronger than that of Earth’s. Jupiter has 4 large moons, discovered by Galileo. They are referred to as Galilean moons and are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. There are also 59 other, smaller, moons in orbit around Jupiter.