Jupiter: A world more than its size

By: Trump Vang

Looking at the night sky many objects shine brightly. The moon is easily the brightest out of these objects, followed by Venus and then Jupiter. Despite it being much farther away than most other visible objects, Jupiter still shines brightly due to its size.

Jupiter is known as a gas giant. This term refers to worlds that are mainly composed of gasses and other substances. These types of planets won’t have a solid surface, rather showing a mix of clouds and atmospheric storms.

A day on the planet lasts around 9 hours, being the fastest out of any object in our solar system. Although its year is much longer at a whopping 12 Earth years. In relation to Earth’s calendar system, it’s like having roughly 10,450 days within a year.

It stands as the biggest, largest and most massive planet within our solar system. In past times, humans named the planets after certain aspects they held; Jupiter was named after the king of the Roman gods due to its enormous size. Although, the planet has much more to show than just its mass.

Its appearance shows a multitude of colors in band-like layers created from its clouds. Although its most distinct aspect is a storm known as the ‘Big Red Spot’ on its ‘surface’. Unlike storms on Earth, the ‘Big Red Spot’ is more permanent, having lasted over 300 years. Its furousity doesn’t stop there, as its size is also unmatched, being nearly three times as big as the Earth in its entirety.

The planet also contains a strange relationship with the Earth. Earth has always been under attack by asteroids, or large space rocks. Often an asteroid may pass close to Earth, but as of this moment, it has been a long time since we’ve had a collision with them. One of the main reasons for this is Jupiter’s influence on them.

Image taken from: Image taken from https://www.britannica.com/place/Jupiter-planet

Without the planet, the existence of life could have never had a chance through the abundant asteroid collisions. So how does Jupiter affect the paths of these asteroids? Due to its large size, Jupiter is able to disrupt the orbits of asteroids, sending them out into far space, far away from the reaches of Earth. Through this, our planet was given the time to grow and produce life, bringing us to where we are today.

Jupiter is an interesting world with many quirks and aspects, from its storms to its presence and influence on other celestial objects. Taking a look at the massive planet, it stands as not only the giant in our solar system, but a world full of colors and gasses orbiting through space.

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