Diameter: 85,788 miles the largest planet - more than 12 Earths could line up across it
Temperature: Range -163° C to >-121° C
Distance from Sun: Approximately 466 million miles
Atmosphere: Mostly hydrogen and helium
Surface: A giant ball of mostly hydrogen and helium
Rotation of its axis: 9 hours, 55 minutes in Earth time (the length of one rotation)
Rotation around the Sun: 12 Earth years
Magnetic Field: Yes
Number of Moons: 63 moons have been identified Ganymede is the largest moon - it is bigger than both Mercury and Pluto
Missions to Jupiter:
Pioneer 10 - December 3, 1973
Pioneer 11 - December 4, 1974
Voyager 1 - March 5, 1979
Voyager 2 - July 9, 1979
Ulysses - February 8, 1992 and February 4, 2004
Cassini - December 30, 2000
New Horizons - February 28, 2007
Jupiter in history:
The name of Jupiter comes from the Romans (latin: Iuppiter, Iūpiter and also called Jove), the principal god of Roman mythology, whose name comes from the Proto-Indo-European vocative compound... Dyēu-pəter (nominative: *Dyēus-pətēr, meaning "O Father Sky-God", or "O Father Day-God").
Jupiter has been known since ancient times because it is visible to the naked eye in the night sky and sometimes can be seen in the daytime when the sun is low.
For Babylonians, this object represented their god Marduk and they used a 12 year orbit of this planet along the ecliptic to define the constellations of their zodiac.
In astronomical symbolistic Jupiter is a stylized representation of the god's lighting bolt. The original Greek deity, Zeus, adopted by Romans.
The adjectival form of Jupiter is Jovian. The older adjectival from jovial, employed by astrologers in the Middle Ages, has come to mean "happy" or "merry", the moods ascribed to Jupiter's astrological influence.
For the Japanese, Korean and Chinese civilization Jupiter is the wood star. This comparation is based on the Chinese Five Elements.
Hindu astrologers baned the planet after Brihaspati, the religious teacher of the gods, and often called it "Guru", which literally means the "Heavy One"
In English, Thursday is derived from "Thor's day", Thor was associated with the planet Jupiter in Germanic mythology.
Jupiter internal structure:
Is thought that Jupiter has a dense core with a mixture of elements, a surrounding layer of liquid metallic hydrogen with some helium and an outer layer predominantly of molecular hydrogen. Beyond this basic outline composition is unknown as are the properties of materials at the temperatures and pressure of those depths.The existence of a core is suggested by a gravitational measurements made in 1997, indicating a mass of 12 to 45 times then Earth's mass or roughly 3%-15% of the mass of Jupiter.
The core region is surrounded by dense metallic hydrogen, which extends outward to about 78 percent of the radius of the planet. Rain-like droplets of helium and neon precipitate downward through this layer, depleting the abundance of these elements in the upper atmosphere.
Above the layer of metallic hydrogen lies a transparent interior atmosphere of hydrogen. At this depth, the temperature is above the critical temperature, which for hydrogen is only 33 K. In this state, there are no distinct liquid and gas phases - hydrogen is said to be in a supercritical fluid state. It is convenient to treat hydrogen as gas in the upper layer extending downward from the cloud layer to a depth of about 1,000 km, and as liquid in deeper layers. Physically, there is no clear boundary - gas smoothly becomes hotter and denser as one descends.
The temperature and pressure inside Jupiter increase steadily toward the core. At the phase transition region where hydrogen - heated beyond its critical point - becomes metallic, it is believed the temperature is 10,000 K and the pressure is 200 GPa. The temperature at the core boundary is estimated to be 36,000 K and the interior pressure is roughly 3,000 - 4,500 GPa.
The atmosphere of Jupiter is the largest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System. Mostly made of molecular hydrogen and helium in roughly solar proportions; other chemical compounds are present only in small amounts and include methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and water.
The Jovian atmosphere shows a wide range of active phenomena, including band instabilities, cyclones and anticyclones, storms and lighting.
Jupiter has powerful storms, always accompanied by lighting strikes. The storms are a result of moist convection in the atmosphere connected to the evaporation and condensation of water. They are sites of strong upward motion of the air, which leads to the formation of bright and dense clouds. The lightning strikes on Jupiter are more powerful than those on Earth, however, there are fewer of them.
Jupiter has a faint planetary ring system composed of three main segments: an inner torus of particles known as the halo, a relatively bright main ring and an outer gossamer ring. There rings apper to be made of dust, rather than ice as with Saturn's rings.
The main ring is probably made of material ejected from the satellites Adrastea and Metis. This material dose not fall back to the moon because Jupiter is pulling it whit his strong gravitational influence so the ring is a constant flow of material from the moons to Jupiter. Another ring is created by moons Thebe and Amalthea composed of dust. There is also evidence of a rocky ring strung along Amalthea's orbit which may consist of collisional debris from that moon.