Jupiter is the fifth and largest planet in our solar system. It is a gas giant which is primarily composed of hydrogen and helium (very similar to our sun). Jupiter may also have a rocky core of heavier elements.
The planet was known by astronomers of ancient times and was associated with the mythology and religious beliefs of many cultures. The Romans named the planet after the Roman god Jupiter.
Jupiter is the third brightest object in the night sky (mag: -2.94).
Because of its rapid rotation, Jupiter possesses a slight but noticeable bulge around the equator. The outer atmosphere is visibly segregated into several bands at different latitudes, resulting in turbulence and storms along their interacting boundaries. A prominent result is the Great Red Spot, a giant storm that is known to have existed since at least the 17th century when it was first seen by telescope. The colors of the Great Red Spot vary (currently yellowish beige).
Diameter: 142 980km (11.2 x Earth)
Mass: 1.899 x 10E24 tons (318x Earth)
Density: 1.32 g / cubic cm (24%)
Sun distance: 778 Mill km (5.2 AU)
Moons: more than 100; largest: Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto.
Image taken: 8/23/2011 at Jenny Jump Observatory, NJ, USA.
Telescope: Orion 120ED
Camera: Canon T1i