Jupiter Facts for Kids
Mean distance from Sun: (483,682,810 miles) 778,412,020 km
Orbital period (year): 11.9 Earth years
Rotation period (day): 9.8 hours
Diameter at equator: (88,846 miles) 142,984 km
Tilt of axis: 3.13 degrees
Jupiter is one of the brightest objects in the sky.
Jupiter was named for the king of the ancient Roman gods. It's the third brightest natural object in the night sky - you can easily see it, even in the city. The Moon is the brightest object in the night sky and Venus is the brightest planet.
Jupiter is the biggest planet in the Solar System.
If you had a balloon as big as Jupiter, you could fit the other seven planets inside it, plus all the moons, dwarf planets and asteroids in the Solar System. After putting all that into your Jupiter-sized balloon, there would still be plenty of room left over.
You would weigh more on Jupiter than you do on Earth.
In Jupiter's gravitational field, you would weigh more than twice as much as normal. Someone weighing 100 lbs on Earth would weigh a whopping 240 lbs even at Jupiter's cloud tops. Deeper into the atmosphere your weight would increase. If you have trouble getting out of bed at home, imagine trying to get up in the morning on Jupiter.
Jupiter is a gas planet without a solid surface.
Jupiter doesn't have a solid surface to stand on. As you go deeper into the atmosphere it gets thicker and the pressure gets bigger. So you would just keep sinking until you were squashed. Ouch.
Jupiter is a giant magnet.
Jupiter's magnetic field is the strongest in the Solar System, except for the Sun's. It's 14 times as strong as Earth's magnetic field.
Jupiter has a storm that's lasted over a century.
The Great Red Spot of Jupiter is an enormous storm that's been going on for at least 180 years. It's blowing harder than a hurricane on Earth and it's so big you could line up three Earths across it.
Jupiter has rings.
Jupiter's rings are pretty boring compared to Saturn's rings. There are three thin rings that are made mostly of dust, so they're hard to see. The Voyager spacecraft discovered them in 1979.
Jupiter has a moon with volcanoes.
Jupiter's moon Io has the most active volcanoes of any body in the Solar System.
Jupiter doesn't have seasons.
Earth is tilted about 23 degrees on its axis. This is why we have seasons. When your hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun, you have summer. Jupiter is scarcely tilted at all, so it doesn't really have seasons. The northern and southern hemispheres get about the same amount of sunlight throughout the year.
Jupiter has short days and long years.
A year on Jupiter is almost twelve Earth years long, but its days are the shortest of any of the Solar System planets - less than ten hours. This would mean a very short school day for you, but think of the long school year! And with no summer, what would happen to your summer vacation?
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