Gravity synchronizes the orbital periods of Jupiter's 3 inner Galilean moons: Io, Europa and Ganymede! (1.6.x)
Right Drag with your mouse after you run the links above that display planetary orbits to get a good sense of their 3-dimensional aspects.
Are you unfamiliar with our 1.6.x and 1.4.1 links? For an explanation click here.
As a gas giant, Jupiter lacks any solid or liquid "surface". Instead, what is often called the planet's "visible surface" is actually an unfathomably elaborate cloud system that is differentiated into layers, bands and countless eddies! No spacecraft has yet sent back close-up pictures from within Jupiter's cloud layers, so here are links to artists' depictions of that veiled and mysterious realm.
The following will help you enjoy this page's 1.6.x and 1.4.1 links that run events directly in CELESTIA. If you're new to the program, these tips will also help you learn to use it.
You'll find more information about many of CELESTIA's controls on our Learning Center page.
Current Views and Conditions from Earth
Current Location in the Constellations (w/ Geo-Coords)
Current Location in Orbit
Equatorial Radius: 71,492 km
Equatorial Radius (Earth = 1): 11.209
Rotational Flattening: 0.06487
Mass (Earth = 1): 317.83
Volume (Earth = 1): 1,321.33
Mean Density (Water = 1): 1.31
Mean Density (Earth = 1): 0.240
"Surface" Gravity (Earth = 1): 2.530
Inclination of Axis to Orbit: 3.13°
Synodic ("Day" in Earth hours): 9.9259
Sidereal (in Earth hours): 9.9250
Albedo (geometric): 0.52
Magnetic Field (Earth = 1): 17,900
Magnetic Polarity: opposite that of Earth
NASA Photojournal Image
View Jupiter in 3-D: superb 3-D animations from Robert Vanderbei's great site. (Also see his Galilean moon animations below.) Drag worlds to see their poles; but if you do, views always rotate left to right, not around worlds' axes. (Requires browser supporting WebGL )
Image Tours: Stormy Jupiter is a nice Flash interactive from HubbleSite
NASA / JPL's Photojournal pages for Jupiter
Atmosphere and Clouds:
NASA Mission Juno: Atmosphere
NASA Vid: Jupiter's Atmospheric Motion
NASA Vid: Atmospheric Motion at Great Red Spot
NASA Vid: Atmospheric Polar Winds
NASA Mission Juno: Maps & Views
Cassini's Best Maps
Cylindrical Map with no Lat & Long
Cylindrical Map with Lat & Long, no Grid
Cylindrical Map with Lat, Long & Grid
Upper Atmosphere Graphic
NOTE: to see Jupiter's internal structure, hover your cursor over the planet's image at upper-right.
Number of Moons: at least 63 (more suspected)
Wikipedia's Moons of Jupiter page
Major Moons: 4 (the "Galilean Moons")
View in 3-D: Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto
Compare to Other Moons
Composite View of Galilean Surface Details
Galilean Moon Orbital Resonances:
Io - Europa: 2 to 1
Io - Ganymede: 4 to 1
Europa - Ganymede: 2 to 1
Ring System: Yes
Outer Planet (along with Saturn, Uranus & Neptune)
Gas Giant (mostly hydrogen and helium)
Superior Planet (has larger orbit than Earth)
Orbit: (1.6.x) (1.4.1)
Period: 11.86 Earth years
Distance from Sun:
Mean (Earth = 1 AU): 5.204 AU
Mean: 778,570,000 km
Perihelion: 740,520,000 km
Aphelion: 816,620,000 km
Mean: 47,052 km/hr
Min: 44,784 km/hr
Max: 49,392 km/hr
Inclination to Ecliptic: 1.304°
Orbit Shared by:
Trojan amd Hildian Asteroids
Motions of Jupiter, the Trojans & the Hildas
Orbits of Jupiter & a Few Example Hildas
(Learn more on our Smaller Worlds page.)
© SkyMarvels, enhancement of NASA image
*Earth mean solar day = 24.0000 hours (24h00m00s)
Earth sidereal day = 23.9345 hr (23h56m4.1s)
**Different latitudes on the Gas Giants rotate at different speeds
Partial Information Source: NASA Fact Sheets
"pertaining to Jupiter"
Jupiterian (used primarily in science-fiction)
Jovian (from Greek god, Jove)
JUPITER: Largest of the Planets
video credit: NASA
video credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
DIRECT LINKS TO MEDIA
OFFERED ON OTHER SITES
GALILEO Mission to Jupiter high-resolution poster
A nice NASA-JPL Multimedia of the Voyager Missions.
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Interested in political cartoons and humor?
Check out The HIPPLOMATS™.
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SCALE OF THE COSMOS
SKY-FUN / SKY-GAMES
JUPITER FUN FACTS
Jupiter rotates on its axis so rapidly, once every 10 hours, that its equator is moving faster than Earth's "escape velocity!"
Jupiter is a massive planet, 2½ times more than massive than all of the other planets combined!
Every so often, three solar eclipses occur on Jupiter at the same time!
Jupiter's "Great Red Spot" appears to be shrinking! A hundred years ago it was twice as long as it is now!
When it approaches Jupiter in 2016, the Juno spacecraft will be travelling at 165,000 mph and will be the fastest object ever made by man!
QUICK ACCESS LIST
Note: some links are echoed elsewhere on this page and may include descriptive text.
From NASA here's one of its most awesome interactives: Mission Juno
HubbleSite's Image Tours: Stormy Jupiter
Links to interactive features that show Jupiter's orbit in 3-D can be found on our Solar System page
Though New Horizons is on its way to Pluto, it will need a Gravity Assist at Jupiter
NASA-JPL's The Voyager Missions
From Amazing Space-STScI, here's a goofy interactive that still manages to be quite involving and educational: Planet Impact
Jupiter Viewer lets you find the tilt of Jupiter & its rings, and the location of its major moons, for any time and date.
Jupiter Moon Tracker allows you to generate and download diagrams of the locations of Jupiter's major moons and rings over spans of time.
POSTERS FEATURING JUPITER
VIDEOS FEATURING JUPITER