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JUPITER

The biggest planet, Jupiter, is 11 times wider than Earth. It is made mainly of hydrogen and helium. Its rapid spin makes the clouds in its atmosphere form bands, called belts and zones.

Table 7. JUPITER DATA

Diameter (width) at equator88,849 miles (142,984 km)
Average distance from Sun483.7 million miles (778.4 million km)
Time to orbit the Sun11.87 years
Time to spin around own axis9.93 hours
Mass318 x Earth’s mass
Gravity2.36 x Earth’s gravity
Cloudtop temperature–166°F (–110°C)
Number of moons61

WHAT ARE THE GALILEAN MOONS?

Jupiter’s four largest moons were discovered by Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1610. Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System—it is 3,273 miles (5,268 km) across. Callisto is the most heavily cratered object in the Solar System, and Io is the most volcanic. Europa is covered with a blanket of water ice that may support primitive life.

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Elements
Storms
Volcanoes

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

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