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Jupiter

Jupiter

The largest planet in our Solar System, with a radius ~11 times bigger than the Earth (you can fit more than 1300 Earths inside Jupiter). Nearly constant east-west winds blow at hundreds of miles per hour, and strong anticyclonic storms, like the Great Red Spot, can last for centuries.

True color mosaic of Jupiter from Cassini

This true color mosaic of Jupiter was constructed from images taken by the narrow angle camera onboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft on December 29, 2000
Credit: (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

Due to its large mass, Jupiter is often used for "gravity assists" by spacecraft journeying to the outer solar system.


Moons


Jupiter's Moons: Family Portrait

Jupiter's Moons: Family Portrait - These are Jupiter's 4 largest moons
Credit: (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute)


Global image of Io (true color)

Global image of Io (true color)
Credit: (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Fun Facts

  • Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system

  • Europa may have a subsurface ocean

  • Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system

  • Callisto is about the size of Mercury and has a heavily cratered surface

  • Faint rings, only visible under proper lighting conditions or at infrared wavelengths

  • Jupiter has 51 named moons, and 16 unnamed moons, for a total of 67 moons and counting.

Missions

Pioneer 10: 1973 flyby

Pioneer 11: 1974 flyby

Voyager 1 and 2: 1979 flybys

Ulysses: 1992 and 2004 flybys

Galileo: 1995 to 2003 orbiter

Cassini: 2000 flyby

New Horizons: 2007 flyby

Juno: ~2016 orbiter

NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration