Jupiter – the 5th planet from the Sun is the largest planet in the solar system, approximately 800,000,000 km from the Sun. The mass of Jupiter represents 70% of the total mass of the planets orbiting the Sun. With a structure of 84% hydrogen gas and 14% helium gas (the two main gases that make up the sun), then if we add a few temperature and mass conditions, Jupiter itself will create a thermonuclear reaction, in which Jupiter and its more than 60 satellites will create a new solar system within ours.
With its mass, Jupiter resembles a giant “vacuum cleaner”. Comets or meteorites roaming the solar system, if they encounter Jupiter’s enormous gravitational pull, will be pulled or deflected out of the system, thereby shielding their “junior” stars in the inner circle. According to scientists’ estimates, the probability of Jupiter being attacked by meteorites and comets is 8,000 times greater than that of Earth.
Image comparing the size of Jupiter to that of the planets in the solar system.
With a maximum apparent brightness of -2.94, Jupiter is the 3rd brightest celestial body in the sky after the Moon and Venus. This brightness can theoretically create shadows in places with suitable dark conditions.
Thanks to its special properties, Jupiter plays a very important role in human life on Earth. In Western countries, Jupiter is called Jupiter. According to Roman mythology, Jupiter is the most important of the gods. In Eastern countries (including China, Japan, Vietnam…), Jupiter is also known as the Thai star – one of the most important stars in the spiritual life of Asians.
For those of us who love astronomy, observing Jupiter always creates an interesting feeling. As long as the weather is favorable, Jupiter can easily be found in the sky 10/12 months of the year as one of the brightest stars in the sky with its characteristic yellow color. Also, with a small telescope, you can fully admire Jupiter’s four largest natural satellites (discovered by astronomer Galileo Galileo in 1610) and the Great Red Spot near the equatorial region. Jupiter’s orbit (actually an active storm for at least 300 years) is one and a half times the size of Earth.
Image: Great Red Spot – “Great Red Spot” on Jupiter.
Nguyen Tat Doanh
Hanoi Amateur Astronomy Association – HAS
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