All About Jupiter

Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system. It's similar to a star, but it never got massive enough to start burning. It is covered in swirling cloud stripes. It has big storms like the Great Red Spot, which has been going for hundreds of years. Jupiter is a gas giant and doesn't have a solid surface, but it may have a solid inner core about the size of Earth. Jupiter also has rings, but they're too faint to see very well.

Explore Jupiter! Click and drag to rotate the planet. Scroll or pinch to zoom in and out. Credit: NASA Visualization Technology Applications and Development (VTAD)

A cartoon of Jupiter smiling, saying, I'm the biggest.

Structure and Surface

  • Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system.
  • Jupiter is a gas giant. It is made mostly of hydrogen and helium.
  • Jupiter has a very thick atmosphere.
  • Jupiter has rings, but they’re very hard to see.

Time on Jupiter

  • One day on Jupiter goes by in just 10 hours.
  • One year on Jupiter is the same as 11.8 Earth years.

Jupiter's Neighbors

  • Jupiter has 80 confirmed moons.
  • Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun. That means Mars and Saturn are Jupiter’s neighboring planets.

Quick History

  • Jupiter has been known since ancient times because it can be seen without advanced telescopes.
  • Jupiter has been visited or passed by several spacecraft, orbiters and probes, such as Pioneer 10 and 11, Voyager 1 and 2, Cassini, New Horizons, and Juno.

What does Jupiter look like?

A photo of Jupiter in the top left corner, clearly showing the bands of Jupiter's colors: brown, grey,and red. A small moon is in the lower right hand corner.

Here you can see Jupiter and one of its many moons, Ganymede.

A full face of Jupiter with the Great Red Spot on the right hand side. A small dark spot on the left side of Jupiter is the shadow of a moon passing in front.

This picture is actually four pictures taken by Cassini put together. The dark spot on the left is the shadow from Jupiter's moon Europa.

A close up image of Jupiter's Red Spot, showing swirls of brown and red gas.

This picture taken by Voyager 2 shows the Great Red Spot.

For more information visit:

NASA Solar System Exploration

article last updated September 26, 2022
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