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Why Jupiter is called the giant?

Jupiter is the fifth in distance from the Sun planet (after mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars).

Ancient astronomers called this planet by the name of the Roman God of sky, thunder, lightning and rain. Jupiter is a real giant, the largest planet in the Solar system. To the naked eye is bright yellow light, which with its brilliance outshines all the planets, except the moon and Venus. He shines even brighter than Sirius - the brightest star in our sky.

Astronomical classification Jupiter is a gas giant like Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. However, the weight of the Jupiter 2 times the weight of all the other planets in the Solar system put together! However, the mass of Jupiter is still 1000 times less than the mass of the Sun. If to compare with the Earth, then the radius of Jupiter 11.2 times greater than that of our home planet; the giant 1300 times larger than Earth in terms of volume and in 318 times the mass. And this despite the fact that the density of Jupiter is 4 times less than the density of the Earth - because it consists of gas and liquid and not solid. Because of the huge mass of gravity (force of gravity) on Jupiter is 2.5 times more than on Earth. This means that a person weighing in terrestrial conditions 50 kg on Jupiter be weighed 125 kg

Planet Jupiter

Jupiter has a thick atmosphere with a height of 50 km, consisting of 90% hydrogen and 10% helium. In the lower layers of the atmosphere detected by the ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, methane, ammonium hydrosulfide, and water, and other simple compounds, which form clouds. A large part of Jupiter is in a liquid state. The top layer is a mixture of hydrogen and helium thickness of 20 thousand km, gradually changing their status towards the core from the gaseous to the liquid, under the influence of increasing temperature and pressure. Under liquid hydrogen layer, under pressure 3 million earth atmospheres, is a sea of liquid metallic hydrogen and a depth of 40 thousand km In the centre of Jupiter is a solid nucleus, which for its size is 1.7 times that of our planet, and the density of 10-30 times as dense as earth's core.

Clear boundaries between gaseous and liquid phases of hydrogen is not, so on Jupiter and no clear boundaries between the layers.

The internal structure of the planet Jupiter
The Structure Of Jupiter

As you can see, although this giant called gas, a substance in the gaseous state it has relatively few: those simple substances and compounds that are in earth conditions known to us as the gases on Jupiter under the action of a monstrous pressure are in a liquid state. So solid surface on Jupiter there. And if it was, it would be impossible to stay without fear of being crushed by the weight of the atmosphere.

Hydrogen on Jupiter in the lower layers under the action of unimaginable pressure gets an amazing property that becomes a metal is a great conductor of electricity. Metallic hydrogen, helium and metal create a powerful magnetic field of Jupiter is the strongest magnetic field in our Solar system (of course, after the sun): it stretches for more than 7 million kilometers toward the Sun, and in the opposite direction - almost to the orbit of Saturn. Powerful magnetic currents cause sustainable aurorae on Jupiter. They appear due to the fact that the magnetic field of the gas giant curves the trajectory of the charged particles of the solar wind and directs them to the pole. Once in the atmosphere, these particles during tear electrons from the gas molecules, then the electric field arising ions attract electrons back. With the reunification of electrons with ions and restore the original neutral molecules just radiate the Aurora.

Auroras on Jupiter
Auroras on Jupiter
shot in the ultraviolet with the Hubble telescope
White spots are magnetic tubes, which connect the Jupiter with its satellites:
a bright spot on the left - IO, the spot below the center - with Ganymede, and a small spot to the right and below it - with Europe.

Jupiter is, and radiation belts, similar to the radiation belts of the Earth, but surpass them in strength and size 14 times. This giant planet is a strong radio source, they are able to corrupt any spacecraft, podlewski too close to it.

The magnetosphere of Jupiter
The Magnetosphere Of Jupiter

The attentive reader must have noticed that the chemical composition of Jupiter is very similar to the star: it consists mainly of hydrogen and helium. But to become a star giant still not given: for he began to shrink and warmed up to such an extent that his bowels began thermonuclear reactions, characteristic for the stars, he needs to be 80 times heavier! Therefore, astronomers call it a "failed star".

However, Jupiter radiates heat to 60% more than it receives from the Sun. Assume that the release of heat occurs due to compression of the planet, which began in the process of its formation.

In the atmosphere of Jupiter is constantly raging the large-scale atmospheric phenomena - hurricanes and whirlwinds, which is many times greater than earthly events and reach a speed of 500 km/h Winds in the atmosphere of Jupiter is not due to solar radiation, as on Earth, and the internal heat of the planet.

Vortices and strong winds cause an interesting feature of Jupiter is its pattern. Each stripe is a flow of matter, and in the adjacent bands, the wind direction is opposite, and the speed is different:

The movement of clouds in the atmosphere of Jupiter (animation)
The movement of clouds in the atmosphere of Jupiter
(Photo and animation NASA)

Color bands associated with their composition and physical properties. Bright areas are regions of high pressure and thermals. Clouds that form these zones are located approximately at the height of 20 km, and their bright coloration explain the high concentration of bright white crystals of ammonia. Dark zone are below; these are areas downstream. They are, presumably, of red-brown crystals of ammonium hydrosulfide and have a higher temperature. At the boundaries of zones and areas there are many strong turbulence. One such a huge vortex, visible as a red spot, astronomers see more from the XVII century. Is it called the Great Red spot. This is the most powerful vortex in the Solar system. In its cross-section could fit 3 planet such as the Earth (and 100 years ago it was 2 times more). The substance of the Great red spot rotates at a speed of over 500 km/h and makes a full rotation in 6 earth days.

The great Red spot
The great Red spot
(Photo interplanetary probe "Cassini")

The great Red spot
The great Red spot
(Photo "Voyager-1")

Despite its massive, Jupiter - champion in the Solar system at a speed of rotation around its axis: a day on Jupiter lasts a little less than 10 hours. Because of this rapid rotation of the planet noticeably flattened her equatorially radius by 6.49% more polar.

A year on Jupiter, i.e. the period of a complete revolution around the Sun is about 12 earth years.

The satellites of Jupiter consist of solid materials. Now they number more than 60. The largest - IO, Callisto, Ganymede and Europa. These satellites x called "Galileian"because they opened Galileo Galilei in 1610 They are visible even in a good pair of binoculars. IO is the most active partner in the Solar system, geological activity: more than 400 active volcanoes, and all of it covered with lava. On IO, one can observe a kind of explosions, and the substance of the satellite is ejected high into the atmosphere and then falls back again on the planet. Volcanic eruptions emit into space a huge amount of gas (sulfur oxide), which is ionized under the influence of the magnetic field of Jupiter and forms a plasma, supplementing the magnetosphere of Jupiter.

The satellites of Jupiter
The Satellites Of Jupiter


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