Jupiter is the fifth planet from the solar system, seen from the Sun, and is also the largest planet from our solar system. Unlike terrestrial planets such as Venus and Mars, Jupiter does not have a solid surface, which means that this type of celestial bodies is also called “gas giants” or “Jovian” planets. In this extensive article you will learn everything about the giant planet Jupiter.
Jupiter breaks all records in terms of figures and is often labeled by scientists as a ‘failed star’. The function of Jupiter in our solar system is also often underestimated because the weight of this giant planet stabilizes the asteroid belt, so that the Earth is less likely to have an asteroid impact. This planet was first visited by the American Pioneer 10 spacecraft in December 1973, but Jupiter made all the international news stories in 1994 when the planet was struck by 21 fragments of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.
The planet Jupiter was named after the Roman supreme god who in Roman mythology was also the god of heaven and the thunderstorm. Among the Babylonians, this celestial body was named Marduk, one of the best-known gods from Mesopotamia. In ancient Greece, Jupiter was given the name Phaethon and in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam this clear object was called the “wooden star” with which one refers to the five elements from traditional Chinese philosophy.
Despite the fact that Jupiter consists entirely of gas, this giant has the largest mass compared to the other planets in our solar system. Inside this gas giant is a core with a diameter of 14,000 kilometers that consists of nickel-iron and rock. This core is said to have a temperature of 25,000 K surrounded by an approximately 40,000 kilometer thick layer of metallic hydrogen and helium. Infrared measurements have also shown that Jupiter emits twice as much energy as the planet absorbs, and scientists suspect that the cause is the extremely hot core. Jupiter is often called a “failed star” because if this planet were 100 times larger, nuclear fusion could occur. This would make Jupiter a star that might have been part of a binary star system with our Sun. On the other hand, Jupiter is too small to be a brown dwarf. Then it should have had the mass of Jupiter thirteen times.