Space has always interested people. This curiosity has increased as technology has improved. Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, and its natural satellites are of particular interest to many scientists.
In human history, Jupiter already has a significant importance and its name bears witness to it. Actually, they are The Romans who baptized him Thus, with reference to God is Jupiter. Among the Greeks, it would be equivalent to King of Gods, Zeus. It is interesting to note that at that time, neither the Romans nor the Greeks knew the magnitude of the planet. Nevertheless, the Romans appointed him king of the gods.
Largest planet, a minor celestial body
As a result, Jupiter The largest planet in the solar system. However, there is Smaller than the Sun whose mass 99.8% of the mass of this planetary system. In fact, stars in the universe may even be hundreds of times larger than our own. Betelgeuse (α Orionis), for example, has A radius 750 times that of our star.
And just to compare planets, Jupiter has a rival in the Milky Way. This is an exoplanet entitled to Thirteen times the mass of our gas giant. His name is Hall OGLE-2016-BLG-1190Lb and about 20,000 light-years from the blue planet.
however, Jupiter is Bigger than the other seven planets solar system. He even got a nickname “Queen of the Planet”.
As a reminder, the solar system consists of one star and eight planets. In fact, if astronomers consider Pluto Like a planet, it was engaged The location of dwarf planets in 2006. Pluto was then the smallest planet, but now it is Wednesday.
A few statistics to remember about Jupiter
The planet has a queen Mean diameter is 142,984 km, Which is the eleventh quality of the world. As for its volume, it is Can hold 1,300 planets The same size as our planet. Finally, Its mass is about 318 times that of Earth. In concrete terms, it is 2.5 times heavier than the other seven planets combined.
Also average distance Between Jupiter and Sun is 778 million km. In comparison, Earth averages 150 million km (astronomical unit or AU) of the Sun. Because of this distance, the light It takes the end 43 minutes to reach the surface of Jupiter
Speaking of time, An adjacent day (one day and one night) lasts on Jupiter 9 hours 55 minutes. nevertheless, a year on the planet Lasts about twelve Earth years. More precisely, it completes one complete revolution around the Sun in 4,333 Earth days.
Formation of the largest planets
As a reminder, there are two main types of planets: telluric and airy. Telluric planets Composed of various elements and usually solid, the world an example Conversely, Gaseous planetsThey consist mainly of gas, This is the case with Jupiter.
It is written Mostly dihydrogen (85%) and Helium (13%). Apart from these gases, it contains oxygen, neon, hydrogen sulphide, carbon and ethane. Apart from that it creates its composition as well as its shapeIt belongs to the category of gas giants.
Therefore, there is no Jupiter No hard surface. in place, cloud band And strong wind Act as a surface.
In addition, it should be noted that gas Gas giants present not identical. Contrary to popular belief, Gas overlap to form several levels.
Despite its features, experts still believe Jupiter has a rocky core. Its mass would be about ten or twelve times that of Earth.
The largest planet and its characteristics
First, there is its location. starting from the sun, Jupiter is in fifth placeRight after Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury. Moreover, apart from being closest to the Sun, Mercury is also the smallest planet solar system
Next, the gas giant presents character work. A priori, these spots would be the result of gas layers However, it is Especially the rotational speed The meteorite growth of the planet is the main cause. The fast wind And Huge temperature fluctuations It also has an effect on the color of Jupiter.
Specifically, the largest planet in the system rotates on its axis almost 45,000 km/h at the equator. Although the blue planet has a rotation speed of 1,700 km/hr. So, despite its size, one sidereal day on Jupiter is worth 10 Earth hours.
Finally, These are many features favorable Great red spot appearance, a specificity of Jupiter. This task is actually a huge storm. The phenomenon is aptly named because it exists 12,000 km wide And 15,000 km long. This storm can therefore contain the volume of the Earth which is about 14,000 km in diameter.
In recent years, scientists have noticed a decrease in the size of the Great Red Spot. However, Jupiter can keep this job permanently. At least that’s what Michel Le Bars, CNRS director of the Out-of-Equilibrium Phenomena (IRHE) research institute, thinks.
Does Jupiter support life?
This is a good question from the atmosphere Jupiter contains water and oxygen. Unfortunately, water is not in a liquid form. According to astronomers, it is present in gaseous state And difficult (ice crystals) in the atmosphere of a gas giant.
The Juno space probe In 2016, the queen of the planet was able to study and determine the amount of water present in its atmosphere. space exploration Determined that water would represent 0.25% of all the gases of Jupiter.
Not one, but more than sixty moons
A In the early 1600sAn astronomer named Galileo observed Jupiter Through his astronomical telescope. It was during this observation that he noticed four moons Those who have been nicknamed Galilean satellites. Today, these moons are known as the most influential of the planetary queens. They are: Callisto, Europa, Ganymede and Io:
- Callisto there is Especially old surfaces With many craters.
- Europe Especially those that attract scientists who are looking Signs of extraterrestrial life. Actually contains this star A sea world Under a thick layer of ice. In other words, this satellite could harbor life.
- Ganymede As big as a planet by the way Its size is bigger than Mercury. It is the only moon in the solar system with a magnetic field.
- come on with the moon The most intense volcanic activity in the solar system
- Each of these moons is at least the size of a dwarf planet.
- Thanks to this discovery, Galileo was able to disprove the idea that all the stars in the solar system revolve around the Earth.
Apart from these four moons there are also the largest planets in the solar system At least 63 other moons. The grouping of these satellites around Jupiter is mainly due to its gravitational pull. All of these The 67 moons are called the Jovian system.
Rings around Jupiter
Jupiter represents the rings Which is much less dominant than Saturn. They are that good Invisible from the blue planet. actually, first meeting Thanks to this event was possible Voyager 1 space exploration in 1979 When it approaches the planet.
Furthermore, this The ring is transient, mainly due to the gravitational force exerted by this gas giant. In fact, either they gather, or they consume Jupiter’s atmosphere.