Jupiter if the fifth planet from the sun and the single largest planet in our solar system except for the sun which it revolves around. It has the mass of all our planets combined and times two and a half. Jupiter is a huge gas planet which the atmosphere consists of primarily Hydrogen and a much smaller fraction of Helium. These gas move at rapid speeds which in effect cause huge storms hundreds of miles wide. For instance, the giant red spot which can be seen on detailed pictures of Jupiter is a huge storm that has been raging for hundreds of years and it thought by scientists to be a permanent feature of its atmosphere.

external image Great_Red_Spot_From_Voyager_1.jpg

History of Jupiter

No one can definitively say when the discovery of Jupiter took place nor who discovered it. Why is it so hard? It is one of the five planets that can be seen in the night sky. Only Venus and the Moon are brighter. Frankly, it is nearly impossible to miss. NASA lists the planet as having been discovered by the Ancients. The planet is called Marduk in ancient Babylonian texts, Zeus in early Greek manuscripts, and Jupiter in Roman antiquity.

external image Jupiter-Earth-Spot_comparison.jpg

Application of Jupiter

Jupiter has helped us a a human race gain a better understanding of how the solar system works and what planets consist of.


  1. Beiser, A. (1988). Physical Science (2nd Edition). New York, NY: McGraw Hill
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter#Research_and_exploration
  3. Jupiter written by Charnon Simon

This WikiPage developed by Michael Hughes Fall 2011 Physical Science 101