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Planet Jupiter

How do you describe Jupiter?

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June 29, 2017 8:46PM

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, the fifth planet from the Sun and the nearest of what are known as the Outer Planets. It is what is known as a gas giant, and has no solid surface but is made up mostly of the gas Hydrogen, although a quarter of it's make-up consists of Helium and other gases including ammonia- some of it also consists of water. It has a mass that is one thousandth that of the Sun, but 2.5 times greater than all the other planets in the Solar System combined; it is believed to have an inner core consisting of liquid and molecular Hydrogen. It's ability to reflect Solar light makes it the third brightest object in the night sky after our own Moon and Venus; a prominent feature of it's surface is the 'Great Red Spot', believed to be a gaseous storm that has been going on since at least the 16th Century when first observed by Galileo through a telescope. Its Solar orbit takes 11.86 Earth years; and it has 69 moons, four of which can be viewed from Earth by telescope. These are Io, Ganymede, Europa and Callisto, and are called the 'Galilean Moons'. Ganymede has a solid icy surface beneath which is believed to lie liquid water several hundred kilometres deep, and may possibly harbour primitive forms of aquatic life. An ESA probe known as the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer is due to be launched there in 2022.