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Jupiter Essay

638 words - 3 pages

JUPITER Jupiter the fifth planet from the sun and by far the largest, Jupiter is more than twice as massive as all the other planets combined (318 times Earth. What we see when we look at this planet as the tops of the clouds high in their atmospheres slightly above one atmosphere. Jupiter is about 90 percent hydrogen and 10 percent helium with traces of methane, water, ammonia and rock. To our knowledge the interior of Jupiter and the other gas planets is highly indirect and likely to remain so for some time. Jupiter may have a core of rocky material. Jupiter and other gas planets have high velocity winds, which are confirmed, in wide bands of latitude. The winds blow in opposite direction is adjacent. Jupiter and the other gas planets have high velocity winds, which are confined, in wide bands of latitude. The winds blow in ...view middle of the document...

The GRS is an oval about 12,000 by 25,000 km, big enough to hold two Earths. Other smaller but similar spots have been known for decades. Infrared observations and the direction of its rotation indicate that the GRS is a high-pressure region whose cloud tops is significantly higher and colder than the surrounding regions. Similar structures have been seen on Saturn. It is not known how such structures can persist for so long.Jupiter radiates more energy into space than it receives from the Sun. The interior of Jupiter is hot: the core is probably about 20,000 K. The heat is generated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz mechanism, the slow gravitational compression of the planet. This interior heat probably causes convention in deep within Jupiter's liquid layers and is probably responsible for the complex motions we see in the cloud tops. Saturn and Neptune are similar to Jupiter in this respect.Jupiter is just about as large in diameter as a gas planet can be. If more material were to be added, it would be compressed by gravity such that the overall radius would increase only slightly. A star can be larger only because of its internal nuclear heat source. Jupiter has a huge magnetic field, much stronger than Earth's. Jupiter's moons therefore lie within its magnetosphere, a fact that may partially explain some of the activity. Jupiter has rings like Saturn's, but much fainter and smaller. Unlike Saturn's, Jupiter's rings are dark (about .05). They're probably composed of very small grains of rocky material. Unlike Saturn's rings, they seem to contain no ice.When it is in the nighttime sky, Jupiter is often the brightest "star" in the sky (it is second only to Venus, which is seldom visible in a dark sky). The four Galilean moons are easily visible with binoculars; a few bands and the Great Red Spot can be seen with a small astronomical telescope. There are several that show the current position of Jupiter (and the other planets) in the sky.

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