How far is Jupiter from Earth

How Far is Jupiter from Earth? Facts About Jupiter

In this article we are going to answer the question, how far is Jupiter from Earth? Jupiter is 365 million miles (588 million kilometers) away from Earth when it at its closest and 601 million miles (968 million kilometers) at its farthest. The distance changes constantly because both planets have to move at different speeds on their orbits.

How far is Jupiter from the Sun?

Jupiter’s orbit is approximately 5 times farther from the sun than the Earth’s; it is precisely 5.2 AUs from the sun. The giant planet is 483.7 million miles (778.4 million kilometers) away from the sun on average. Since its orbit is oval, the farthest it is from the sun is 507 million miles (816 million kilometers) and the closest is 460.3 million miles (740.7 million kilometers).

Jupiter orbits the sun in 11.86 Earth years. One year on Jupiter is equivalent to 12 years on Earth. For example, if you are 24 years old here, you would only be 2 years old on the giant planet’s calendar.

How long does it take light to travel to Jupiter?

Sunlight takes approximately 43 minutes to reach Jupiter. Light from Jupiter takes anywhere between 32 and 52 minutes to reach us because it depends on the relative positions of the two planets.

What are the diameter and circumference of Jupiter?

For perspective, Jupiter’s diameter is 11.2 times the Earth’s diameter and the surface area is 120 times that of Earth.

Jupiter: The diameter at the equator is 86,881 miles (142,984 kilometers) – 7% larger than it is at the poles. The circumference is 272,946 miles (439,264 kilometers) circumference.
Earth: 7,918 miles (12,742 kilometers) diameter and 24,901 miles (40,074 kilometers) circumference.

How long would it take to travel to Jupiter?

The time you would take depends on the path the spacecraft takes. To conserve fuel, most of the missions we have sent to Jupiter have had to orbit other celestial bodies before reaching Jupiter.

The Galileo mission in 1989 took 6 years, Voyager 1 took two years because the outer planets were perfectly aligned, and New Horizons took thirteen months.

What would you find when you get to Jupiter?

Jupiter has colorful bands running laterally. They have colors ranging from whites, yellows, browns, to reds. The deeper atmosphere has blue clouds.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a visible red-brownish spot found on the giant planet. It is actually a hurricane that has been brewing for hundreds of years. It is wider than Earth’s diameter and it spins at 225 miles per hour (360 kilometers per hour). Nobody knows what drives it or whether it will ever disappear.

Jupiter does not have a solid crust like the terrestrial planets and we have not yet figured out what its core is made up of. The core is surrounded by fluid hydrogen which is then surrounded by a gaseous atmosphere. Jupiter is, therefore a massive ball of liquid and gas (unless we discover the real structure of the core).

The Atmosphere:

It has molecular hydrogen (89.8%), helium (10.2%), and traces of ammonia, methane, water, ethane, ice aerosols, ammonia ice aerosols, hydrogen deuteride, and ammonia hydrosulfide in its atmosphere. In the deeper atmosphere, it rains diamonds.

The colorful bands we see are probably clouds of sulfur and gases containing phosphorous. The atmospheric pressure is immense. There are winds blowing constantly and in opposite directions. In the upper atmosphere, winds reach speeds of up to 335 miles per hour (539 kilometers per hour).

Deeper in the atmosphere, Hydrogen is compressed into liquid Hydrogen. Jupiter has a strong magnetic field that creates a magnetosphere where all bodies revolving around it are housed. A magnetosphere is a region where the Jovian magnetic field is more dominant than the solar field. It has a magnetic field that is 16 to 54 times stronger than that of Earth.

The Seasons:

Jupiter’s axis has a three-degree tilt which is not enough to cause distinct seasons like the ones we experience on earth (Earth has a 23-degree tilt). Jupiter has the fastest planetary spin. It takes less than 10 hours

to fully turn on its axis; that is less than half a day on earth.

Jupiter’s temperatures vary massively from the core to the clouds. While the clouds have an average temperature of -234 degrees Fahrenheit (-145 Celsius). The core supplies more heat to the gas giant than the sun, and has sustained temperatures reaching 43,000 degrees Fahrenheit (24,000 Celsius).

The Terrain:

Jupiter is a gas giant. So, unlike terrestrial planets, it does not have a “terrain” in the conventional sense because it is a big ball of gases and liquids.

How many moons does Jupiter have?

Jupiter has 79 confirmed moons; we’ll discuss the 4 bigger ones. Due to its gravitational force and the fact that it is made of gas, if it were bigger, Jupiter could have been a star in its own right and its moons could have been its planets.

The four big moons were discovered by Galileo (which explains why they are referred to as Galilean satellites). They are Io, Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto. Each of them has distinct features that have piqued the interests of many scientists.

  • Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system. It’s even bigger than Mercury and Pluto. It is the only moon known to have its own magnetic field. Its surface is icy and there are suggestions it has one or more oceans beneath its surface.
  • Io is highly volcanic – the most volcanic-ally active body in the solar system. It emits sulfur from its active volcanoes which explains its yellow-orange color. There are tides on Io that are caused by Jupiter’s gravity.
  • Europa has an icy crust that may be hiding an ocean that contains twice the amount of water Earth has.
  • Callisto reflects the least amount of light of the four moons. This has led scientists to speculate that its surface is just dark, colorless rocks.

Interestingly enough, all four of Jupiter’s moons, and the big planet itself is exquisitely visible through a reasonably powered telescope. Be sure to check out this article for everything you need to know before purchasing your first telescope 10 Tips for buying your first telescope.

Jupiter’s Rings

The giant planet has three rings: The main ring, the halo, and the gossamer ring. The main ring and the hallow ring consist of dark particles while the gossamer ring has microscopic dust particles (probably from moons).

Is there water on Jupiter?

There is no water on Jupiter but its atmosphere has traces of it. Its moons, however, are suspected to have frozen water in abundance, or at least oceans of it underneath their surfaces.

How much would you weigh on Jupiter?

The mass of Jupiter is 318 times that of Earth and more than twice the sum of all the other planets’ masses. It has a gravitational force that is 2.4 times stronger than ours. If you weigh 200 pounds (90 kilos) on Earth, you will weigh 480 pounds (217 kilos) on Jupiter assuming you stood on top of the outermost clouds.

Man’s Missions to Jupiter

The giant planet emits massive doses of radiation that make it nearly impossible to explore it. NASA has successfully sent two missions, Juno and Galileo, to orbit the gas giant. Other missions have flown by and taken pictures of the planet and its moons. Scientists are now very interested in the moons and future missions are geared towards studying them.

Additional Readings

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