Of all the nine planets, Jupiter is the largest and the heaviest. The ancient Greeks called it so after their supreme God, Zeus. The most visible Red spot on the Jupiter are the clouds having the diameter of 40,000 km! In 1644, it was scientist, Robert Hooke who spotted it through the telescope.
Despite its enormous size and vastness, Jupiter has no plain surface and, hence landing of the spacecraft there is ruled out. According to scientists, this is almost made of hydrogen and helium gas. It is 88,780 miles away with a polar diameter of 82,980 miles. This mighty planet quite often experiences lightning of high voltage and deafening thunder! The minimum temperature here is – 150 degree C. The colourful red and yellow clouds are ammonia that spins around at greater speed.
It was the famous Italian mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilee (1564 – 1642), who discovered, among other things, this planet Jupiter and its four moons. He invented the telescope through which he probed the endless sky. He also wrote a book entitled, “The Starry Messenger” in the year 1613.
Jupiter is approximately 775 million km away from the sun, with a tolerance of plus or minus 30 million km. The speed of its spin is estimated around 50,000 km/ph.
Jupiter’s moon Europa could foster life! The latest research suggests that an ocean of water just beneath the icy shell of Europa might support life. There is an ocean of 160 km deep, rich in chemicals and salts. Besides, there are iron and sulphur, too. It is believed to lie somewhere between 10 to 30 km beneath the ice crust.
Another source says that there is abundant water beneath the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon and small lakes exist just 3 km below the crust. This gives room to conclude that there could be life.
Tail piece: Jupiter has 21 moons, 4 bigger and 17 smaller ones, called as Galilean moons. The biggest, Ganymede is 5268 km across!