Jupiter: Facts - NASA Science (2024)

Jupiter is a world of extremes. It's the largest planet in our solar system – if it were a hollow shell, 1,000 Earths could fit inside. It's also the oldest planet, forming from the dust and gases left over from the Sun's formation 4.5 billion years ago. But it has the shortest day in the solar system, taking only 10.5 hours to spin around once on its axis.

Quick Facts

Eleven Earths could fit across Jupiter’s equator. If Earth were the size of a grape, Jupiter would be the size of a basketball.

Jupiter orbits about 484 million miles (778 million kilometers) or 5.2 Astronomical Units (AU) from our Sun (Earth is one AU from the Sun).

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Jupiter rotates once about every 10 hours (a Jovian day), but takes about 12 Earth years to complete one orbit of the Sun (a Jovian year).

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Jupiter is a gas giant and so lacks an Earth-like surface. If it has a solid inner core, it’s likely about the size of Earth.

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Jupiter's atmosphere is made up mostly of hydrogen (H2) and helium (He).

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Jupiter has 95 officially recognized moons.

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In 1979 the Voyager mission discovered Jupiter’s faint ring system. All four giant planets in our solar system have ring systems.

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Nine spacecraft have visited Jupiter. Seven flew by and two have orbited the gas giant. The most recent, Juno, arrived at Jupiter in 2016.

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Jupiter cannot support life as we know it. But some of Jupiter's moons have oceans beneath their crusts that might support life.

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Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a gigantic storm that’s about twice the size of Earth and has raged for over a century.

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Jupiter: Facts - NASA Science (2024)

FAQs

Jupiter: Facts - NASA Science? ›

Size and Distance. With a radius of 43,440.7 miles (69,911 kilometers), Jupiter is 11 times wider than Earth. If Earth were the size of a grape, Jupiter would be about as big as a basketball. From an average distance of 484 million miles (778 million kilometers), Jupiter is 5.2 astronomical units away from the Sun.

Does Jupiter have 79 or 80 moons? ›

Jupiter has 95 moons that have been officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union.

What is a scientific fact about Jupiter? ›

Facts About Jupiter

It's the largest planet in our solar system. If Jupiter was a hollow shell, 1,000 Earths could fit inside. Jupiter also is the oldest planet, forming from the dust and gases left over from the Sun's formation 4.5 billion years ago.

Is Jupiter hot or cold in NASA? ›

The temperature in the clouds of Jupiter is about minus 145 degrees Celsius (minus 234 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature near the planet's center is much, much hotter. The core temperature may be about 24,000 degrees Celsius (43,000 degrees Fahrenheit). That's hotter than the surface of the sun!

What planet is 100% gas? ›

Jupiter is made up almost entirely of gas. How does it maintain its gravity?

Does Jupiter have 1000 moons? ›

With four large moons and many smaller moons, Jupiter forms a kind of miniature solar system. Jupiter has 95 moons that are officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union.

Which planet has 87 moons? ›

In addition to the Galilean moons and the four inner moons, Jupiter is home to a further 87 satellites – although the orbits of these bodies are even less circular than those of the Galilean and inner moons.

How hot is Jupiter? ›

How hot is the gas giant planet? The short answer is that Jupiter's temperature is about –110°C / –166°F. That's if you were standing on the planet's surface, which of course you can't. Jupiter is composed mostly of gases and liquids, so there's no surface to stand on.

Is Jupiter all gas? ›

Unlike Earth and the other inner planets, which are made of rocky material, Jupiter and the other gas giants are mostly – if not entirely – huge balls of gas. Jupiter's enormous mass allows it to continue holding onto all of the gases it accumulated when it was forming.

How long is one day on Jupiter? ›

Even though Jupiter is much larger than Earth, Jupiter rotates much faster on its axis. One day on Jupiter is only 9 hours and 50 minutes! Jupiter takes around 11.86 Earth years to complete one revolution around the sun.

Is Jupiter hot yes or no? ›

The temperature on Jupiter depends upon the depth, with increasing temperatures occurring deeper within the planet. The surface temperature is a frigid -229 degrees F, but there are levels within the planet that are a balmy 70 degrees F.

Does Jupiter have a nickname? ›

Answer and Explanation: While Jupiter does not have a nickname as well-known as Mars (the red planet), its most common nickname is simply the Gas Giant.

Is Jupiter cold yes or no? ›

With an average temperature of minus 234 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 145 degrees Celsius), Jupiter is frigid even in its warmest weather. Unlike Earth, whose temperature varies as one moves closer to or farther from the equator, Jupiter's temperature depends more on height above the surface.

Who is the king of all planets? ›

Jupiter is our solar system's undisputed king of the planets! Jupiter is bright and easy to spot from our vantage point on Earth, helped by its massive size and banded, reflective cloud tops. Jupiter even possesses moons the size of planets: Ganymede, its largest, is bigger than the planet Mercury.

Is Jupiter a gas giant? ›

Gas giants, like Jupiter or Saturn in our solar system, are composed mostly of helium and/or hydrogen. Gas giants nearer to their stars are often called “hot Jupiters.” More variety is hidden within these broad categories.

Does Jupiter have 80 moons? ›

Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, boasts a whopping 92 moons, making it the second-most populous planet in terms of its companions. 12 new Jovian moons were announced in Feb.

Did Jupiter have 79 moons? ›

There are 95 moons of Jupiter with confirmed orbits as of 5 February 2024. This number does not include a number of meter-sized moonlets thought to be shed from the inner moons, nor hundreds of possible kilometer-sized outer irregular moons that were only briefly captured by telescopes.

What planet has 80 moons? ›

Planet Jupiter has 80 moons. Ganymede, the largest moon, is actually larger than the planet Mercury.

What planet has 79 moons? ›

Jupiter has a mind-boggling 79 known moons, mostly named after the paramours and descendants of the Roman god of the same name. The four largest moons of Jupiter called Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, were discovered by Galileo Galilei and so are sometimes called the Galilean moons.

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