Although astronomers have known Jupiter since ancient times, the telescope invention as well as the development in modern astronomy have enlightened us on a lot to do with the planet. There’re very many captivating facts about this giant planet including its massiveness, very many moons than all planets and the powerful magnetic field. Some of these facts are explained below:
- It’s massive – It’s well known that this planet is the largest in the entire Solar System. It’s mass is estimated to be 318 times more that of our planet. When all the planets in our Solar System are combined, Jupiter is still 2.5 times larger than them. What’s even more interesting, is that Jupiter would actually reduce its size if it ever got bigger-this is because extra mass would make it denser an hence pulling itself in on it.
- Fastest Spinning Planet – Although it’s massive, Jupiter moves fast. It’s estimated the planet takes around 10 hours to rotate on its axis completely. This has made the planet flatten a little at the poles and is protruding on its equator. Also, the quick rotation assists in creating its strong magnetic fields and cause the risky radiation around it.
- Powerful Magnetic Fields – Actually, 14 times powerful than earth’s. Compasses could function in Jupiter since it has the most powerful magnetic fields in the entire Solar System. Astronomers suggest that the magnetic fields are created from eddy currents, that’s the spinning movement of conducting materials, in the liquid hydrogen core. Trapped sulfur dioxide particles, from volcanic eruptions, in the magnetic field create oxygen and sulfur ions that combine with hydrogen ions from Jupiter’s atmosphere. They create a plasma sheet in the equatorial plane of Jupiter.
- Owns 67 moons – These are the ones confirmed but beyond 200 natural satellites are estimated to orbit Jupiter. They were discovered in 1975, by Pioneer 10 Spacecraft, and all of their diameters are below 10 kilometers.