Jupiter is the 5th planet of the solar system. Its distance from the Sun is 5.203 AU (1 AU = 149,597,870 km). It is one of the gaseous or outer planets and is composed mostly of hydrogen (81%) and helium (17%). It is the largest planet in the solar system, has an equatorial diameter of 142,984 km, its mass is 1.899-1027 kg (about 2.47 times the sum of the masses of the other planets in the solar system). Its volume is 1,000 times that of the Earth. It is also the planet with the fastest rotation speed in the solar system, since it goes around itself in less than 10 hours and takes 11.86 years to make a complete revolution around the Sun in an elliptical orbit (its orbital speed is 13.0697 km/s).
Jupiter’s atmosphere is divided into dark belts (called bands) and light belts (called zones), in the direction of the parallels. These delimit a system of wind currents alternating in direction with the latitude and of great intensity. Jupiter has a huge anticyclone very stable in time, called the great red spot, whose current size is about two and a half times the size of the Earth. It also has a faint ring system discovered in 1979. The main ring is about 6,500 km long, and orbits 1 million km away from the planet. These rings seem to be made of dust instead of ice like those of Saturn.
Sixty-three satellites have been discovered orbiting the planet, the most important of which are the four discovered by Galileo 400 years ago, which is why they are called Galilean satellites:
Ganymede: It is the largest satellite of Jupiter and the Solar System. It is 5,262 km in diameter and is larger than Pluto and Mercury. It rotates about 1,070,000 km from the planet in a little more than seven days. It has a rocky core, a mantle of water ice and a crust of rock and ice, with mountains, valleys, craters, and lava rivers.
Callisto: It has a diameter of 4,800 km, almost the same as Mercury, and revolves at 1,883,000 km from Jupiter, it goes around in 17 days. It is the satellite with the most craters in the solar system. It is made up, in equal parts, of rock and frozen water. The frozen ocean hides the craters, and it has the lowest density of the four Galilean satellites.
Io: It is 3,630 km in diameter and revolves at 421,000 km from Jupiter in a little more than a day and a half it makes a full circle. Its orbit is affected by Jupiter’s magnetic field and by the proximity of Europa and Ganymede. It is rocky, with a lot of volcanic activity. Its global temperature is -143º.
Europa: It is 3,138 km in diameter. Its orbit is located between Io and Ganymede, 671,000 km from Jupiter. It goes around once every three and a half days. Its appearance is that of an icy ball with marked lines on its surface, probably fractures in the crust that have refilled with water and have frozen.
I invite you to read Matias’ post with the topic of the day.
Finally, I encourage everyone to reflect on the concept of the day. No one else but us can re-signify our own being