Jupiter (planet)

Jupiter fotografiert von der Raumsonde Cassini

Jupiter in Echtfarben, photographs from the space probe
Cassini in December 2000.

Characteristics of the orbit
aphelion 816.62 millions km
5.459 AE
middle radius 778.57 millions km
5.204 AE
Perihel 740.52 millions km
4.95 AE
numeric eccentricity 0.0489
Jupiterbahn extent 5,12791·10 9 km
Sideri period 4,332, 589 days
= 11.86 years
Synodi period 398.88 days
Ø orbital speed of 13.6987 km/s
inclination 1,30530°
smallest earth distance 588.5 millions km
largest earth distance 968.1 millions km
physical characteristics
diameters at the equator 142,984 km
(11,21-fache of the earth)
Surface contents 61.42 billion km 2
(120,414-fache of the earth)
mass 1.8986 × 10 27 kg
(317.83 ground connection masses)
middle one density 1.326 g/cm 3
Ø Graviationsfeldstärke)
at the surface
24.79 m/s ²
(2,53-fache of the earth)
rotation period 9 hr. 55 min. 30 sec.
Inclination that Axis of rotation 3,13°
albedo 0.52
escape velocity 59.54 km/s
at 1 bar
of min means max
? K 165 K ? K
characteristics of the atmosphere
pressure -
hydrogen 89.8%
helium 10.2%
methane 3000 ± 1000 ppm
ammonia 260 ± 40ppm
deuterium 28 ± 10 ppm
Ethan 5.8 ± 1.5 ppm
water ~4 ppm
other data
number of satellites 63, and. A. IO, Europe
Ganymed and Kallisto

Jupiter, designated after the Roman God Jupiter, is the fifthand largest planet of our solar system. In the astronomy one uses the indication ♃ of Jupiter.

Table of contents


Jupiter is the internal of the gas giants of the solar system and runs on an approximately circular orbitwith an eccentricity of 0,0489 around the sun. Its sun-next point, the Perihel, is with 4,95 AE and its sun-furthest point, the aphelion, with 5,459 AE. Its orbit is easily bent against the ecliptic with 1,305°. For oneCirculation around the sun needs Jupiter 11 years 215 days and 3 hours.

Jupiter is to be recognized at night from the earth with the naked eye. Jupiter is based on its maximum brightness after sun, moon and Venus the fourth-brightest objectin the sky, which can shine at favorable planet constellation even more brightly, as the Venus. Therefore it was already in the antique one well-known. One of the first persons, who observed Jupiter with a telescope, was 1610 Galileo Galilei. It discovered thosefour largest Jupitermonde Ganymed, Kallisto, IO and Europe. These four moons are called also today still Galilei' moons. Galilei saw as the first that other heavenly bodies did not only move around the earth. It was among other thingsthis discovery, which led to its support of the heliozentrischen conception of the world and brought it into conflicts with the Inquisition.

Jupiter ranks among the outside group of the massive gas giants, that are called after him the jupiterähnlichen (iovianischen) planets. More detailsDescription of its structure is in the appropriate section.

Size size of earth to Jupiter

Jupiter is the measure-richest planet in our solar system. More still: It possesses 2.5 times just as mass as all 8 other planets together. Its mass is even sufficient, thoseTo bring sun in the roll: The common emphasis of Jupiter and sun is appropriate for about 1.068 sun radii outside of the sun center (and thus outside of the sun surface).

Jupiter is however not only the heaviest, but with a diameter of approximately 143,000 km alsothe largest planet of our solar system. It has a small middle density with 1,326 g/cm 3 like all gas giants. Interestingly enough Jupiter possesses nearly the maximum expansion of a “cold”, from hydrogen of existing body. That does not mean a heavenly body cold in this connection,as a star hydrogen burns to helium. Bodies from hydrogen with more mass than Jupiter possess a smaller volume due to their increased gravitation. One calls such objects also brown dwarves or in the anglo-saxon linguistic area “failed star”. The transition betweenbrown dwarves and planets is flowing. For a “genuine star” Jupiter would have had to be still about 70 times more difficult however.

Despite its enormous size Jupiter is in our solar system the planet, which turns fastest. It completes one rotation periodin less than 10 hours, which entails a flattening of the Jupiters due to centrifugal forces to Poland and the emergence of a “belly” at the equator. The flattening can be observed easily with an amateur telescope. Jupiter does not rotate alsolike a rigid body. The equator regions need 9 h 50 m 30 s and the pole regions 9 h 55 m 41 S. for a rotation. The equator regions are called system I and the pole regions as system II. Its rotation axleis bent thereby only very small around 3,13° against his orbit around the sun. Jupiter does not have thus contrary to other planets pronounced seasons.

The Jupiter has an important function in our solar system. There it more heavily thanall other planets together is, is he an important component of the mass equilibrium of the solar system. It stabilizes the Asteroidengürtel by its weight. Seen without Jupiter statistically every 100,000 years a Asteroid from the Asteroidengürtel the earth to meet and livesmake impossible thus. The existence of a jupiterähnlichen planet in a solar system is therefore a condition for lives on the star closer a planet.



of main parts of the atmosphere are hydrogen, helium and in smallerAmmonia and methane mixes. The moreover traces were found by oxygen , carbon , sulfur , neon and nearly all other elements. In addition the atmosphere contains traces of water, hydrogen sulfide, oxides and sulfides. The outermost layersthe atmosphere contain crystals from frozen ammonia. Altogether Jupiters composition resembles very the gas disk, from which approximately 4.5 billion years ago the sun developed. Similarities in the structure to Saturn show themselves, while the two other gas giants Uranus and Neptun due to its smaller force of gravity substantially less hydrogen and helium possess. These two elements are too easy, in order by them to be held. The atmosphere changes itself without phase transition with increasing depth into a liquid condition, therethe pressure over the critical point that atmosphere gases increases.

The bright and dark volumes and the large red mark are remarkable - an enormous anti-cyclone, which is large in its longitudinal direction two earth diameters. It is very stable and becomesalready for 300 years with only easy changes observes. To the comparison: On earth wind eddies separate in the atmosphere usually within some weeks. The large red mark is visible due to its size already in an amateur telescope.

ThatLarge red mark constantly circles the Jupiter as the largest eddy tower of the solar system. It was already held before 300 years on designs. At that time he was observed by “primitive” binoculars.

Jupiter is subject to a 70-jährigen climatic cycle after new research results. In this periodit comes to the training of some eddy towers - Zyklone and anticyclone, which disintegrate after certain time again. Besides abating the large storms of temperature differences between Poland and equator cause those up to 10 °C, so far because of the constant gas mixture throughthe storms were prevented.

Up to the year 2011 most eddy towers on Jupiter should have disappeared temporarily. However the large red mark might survive this development due to its large energy. The last climatic change of this kind on Jupiter could do already 1939 are observed.

Gas planets such as Jupiter refer a part of their energy from the adiabatic contraction of the gas. By the rise in temperature resulting from it the pressure rises, until the planet is in the equilibrium. This process is called Kelvin helmet getting time mechanism. In such a way developing warmthslowly into space one radiates. Therefore the planet shrinks steadily. Jupiter refers from this contraction an achievement of approximately 400 billion Watt which in for instance the achievement corresponds, which he receives by the absorbed sun exposure.

Internal structure of planet

with increasing depth of the atmosphere is liquid the hydrogen, of which Jupiter consists to the main thing, due to the high pressure, but without phase transition, so that no defined surface is existence, there the pressure in the depths of the atmosphere beyondthe critical point rises. Under these conditions the distinction between gas and liquid is no longer possible. Starting from approximately 25% of the Jupiterradius the hydrogen changes with a pressure beyond of 300 million earth atmospheres into a metallic form. Itit is assumed that Jupiter has a rock ice core, which consists of heavy elements below this metallic hydrogen layer.

Ringe des Jupiters
a very weakly minted

ring system, which already since the Pioneer 11, has rings of rings of the Jupiters Jupiter - mission 1974 assumesand 1979 by Voyager 1 to be for the first time photographed could. As the probe to 5. March 1979 in the Jupiterschatten immersed, was it in the back light to be recognized.

Long time remained the origin of the rings unknown, and a ground-based observation proveditself as extraordinarily difficult, since the rings consist of dust pellets, which are not larger to the majority than the particles of the smoke of a cigarette. In addition it comes that the dust particles are hardly visible almost black, and therefore: They have an albedo ofonly 0.05, swallows thus 95% of the hitting, there anyway already weak sunlight.

A further reason for the small extents of the rings is the fact to move that the rings slowly spiral on Jupiter and in the distant future finallyby it „“become absorbed. The spiral rotation has different causes. On the one hand the strong magnetic field of the Jupiter causes an electrical loading of the dust particles. These collide with other charged particles, which catch Jupiter for example from the solar wind, which finallyto a deceleration of the particles leads. A second effect, which likewise causes a deceleration of the dust particle, is the absorption and following Remission of light. Lose the dust particle angular momentum. One calls this effect Poynting Robertson effect. Both effects togethercause that the dust disappears within one period of approximately 100,000 years from the rings.

Hauptring fotografiert am 9. November 1996 von Galileo
Main ring photographs to 9. November 1996 of Galileo

the origin of the rings could be clarified only by the Galileo - mission. The fine dust probably comesof the small rocky moons of the Jupiters. The moons are constantly bombarded by small meteorites. A majority of the ejection is hurled by the small force of gravity of the moons into the Jupiterumlaufbahn and constantly fills with it the rings.

The main ring(Main ring) for example Adrastea and Metis consist of the dust of the moons. Two further weaker rings (Gossamer rings) follow outward. The material for these rings comes mainly from Thebe and Amalthea. In addition could an extremely thin ring in an outside orbit to be discovered. This ring circles Jupiter in direction moving in opposite directions. The origin of this ring is not clarified yet. It is however assumed that it consists of interplanetary dust.

Within the main ring findsitself a halo from dust grains, which extends in an area from 92.000 to 122,500 km, measured from the center Jupiters. The main ring is enough from above the halo border starting from 130.000 km to approximately to the orbit of Adrastea near. Above thatOrbit of Metis decreases the strength of the main ring noticeably. The thickness of the main ring is smaller than 30 km.

The internal Gossamer ring fed by Amalthea is enough from the outside border of the main ring up to Amaltheas orbit with approximately 181,000 kmof the Jupiterzentrum. The outside Gossamer ring is enough from 181.000 km to approximately 221,000 km and lies thereby between the orbits of Amalthea and Thebe.

magnetic field

Magnetosphäre of the Jupiters

Jupiter has a very much minted magnetic field. The strengththe field amounts to on height of the clouds for instance 1,2×10 -3 Tesla. It is thus nearly 10 times as strong as the earth's magnetic field and contains for instance the 20.000fache energy of the earth's magnetic field. The magnetic north pole of the Jupiters lies in the proximityits geographical South Pole. The axle of the north pole is bent around 11° in relation to its rotation axle. The fictitious axle between the magnetic north pole and the magnetic South Pole passes not directly by the center of the planet, but easily, similarlyas it is with the earth the case.

The exact emergence of the magnetic field is still unsettled with Jupiter, however it is considered as secured that the metallic hydrogen as well as the fast rotation period Jupiters played a crucial role.

On to sun-turn the side extendsthe magnetic field about 6 million km far into the universe, while it exceeds on the side turned away from the sun well 700 million km in the universe, thus hands itself it nearly into the Saturn course. The reason for this asymmetry is that Solar wind, which forms an impact front. Thus from view of the sun the magnetic field before the planet is tossed and stretched behind it. The constant reciprocal effect with the solar wind leads to it that the exact extents of the magnetic field can vary strongly, therefore is to understand the values specified here as approximate appoximate values. Particularly strongly any fluctuations on the side can sun-turn to be. With weak solar wind the magnetic field can up to 16 million km far in the universe hand there. The fluctuations of the magnetic field becameamong other things of the two probes Voyager 1 and 2 examines.

One calls the area taken by the magnetic field Magnetosphäre. The Magnetosphäre Jupiters is in such a manner large that it would take the three-way surface of the sun or the moon in the terrestrial night sky,if it would shine. Thus it, refrained the object largest with distance from the sun, is in our whole solar system.

The strong magnetic field catches steadily charged particles, so that rings and disks from charged particles form around Jupiter.These charged particles can originate for example from the solar wind. A comparable effect is on earth in form of the Van Allen belt. A further source for charged particles are the moons of the Jupiters. Thus one finds for example a ringfrom loaded sulfur atoms around IO , while around Europe a torus from water molecules formed.

From fluctuations in the magnetic field constantly results radiation, which proceeds from Jupiter. This synchrotron radiation in such a way specified can be measured within the decimetric wave range and leads alsoto the water evaporation on of Europe surface. Also the volcanic activity on IO could be a product of the Jupitermagnetfeldes. One assumes that the magnetic field at IO pulls. The friction resulting from it leads to a heating up of the moon. This connection could so far howeverto be not yet finally proven.

The magnetic field can be divided roughly into three parts: The internal range is circular and extends about 20 Jupiterradien far. Within this part different regions can be differentiated, those by different electrons - and Proton concentrations are defined. The middle part of the magnetic field extends from 20 Jupiterradien to approximately 50 Jupiterradien. This part is disk-shaped flattened by fast rotation around Jupiter and thus high centrifugal forces. The outside region of the magnetic field is above all throughthe reciprocal effect of the magnetic field with the solar wind coined/shaped, and their form thereby dependent on its strength.


the four Galilei moons true to scale before the large red mark (from above: IO, Europe, Ganymede and Kallisto)

Overview of all Jupitermonde:List of the Jupitermonde

Jupiter possesses 63 well-known moons (conditions: November 2005). They can be divided into several groups:

The Galilei moons IO, Europe, Ganymed and Kallisto with diameters between 3122 km and 5262 km(Earth diameter 12,740 km) 1610 independently by Galileo Galilei and Simon Marius were discovered, all other moons with exception of the 1892 discovered Amalthea only in 20. or 21. Century. The Galilei moons are the largest Jupitermonde and have planet near,only little bent courses.

IO has a diameter of 3160 km and circles Jupiter in a distance from 421.600 km. It consists of an iron core and a coat. IO possesses a very thin atmosphere, mainly consisting of sulfur dioxide. Therein its inside geological process runs off, is on its surface numerous volcanos.

Europe possesses an iron core and a stone coat, over which probably a deep ocean is appropriate for 100 km, for whose surface 10 to 20 km to an ice crust froze.Its diameter amounts to 3138 km, its distance to the Jupiter 670,900 km.

Ganymed is in a distance of 1.070.000 km. Its diameter is with 5268 km. It consists of an iron core, a rock coat and an ice coat. In addition it possesses inown magnetic field.

Kallisto has a diameter of 4806 km and has a distance from 1.883.000 km to Jupiter. It consists of an iron stone mixture and an ice crust. Researchers found on him signs for carbon - and to nitrogen compounds, to thatBasic conditions for lives belong. Also on the inside of Kallisto there are probably layers from liquid water.

Beside the Galilei moons there are four further moons on planetnear and only little bent courses; Metis, Adrastea, Amalthea and Thebe,however with diameters from 20 km to 131 km than the Galilei moons are substantially smaller. One assumes that the internal eight moons developed at the same time with the Jupiter.

The remaining moons are small to smallest objects with radiibetween 1 km and 85 km, which were probably caught by Jupiter. They carry partly still numeric codes than provisional names, until they are designated by the international astronomical union IAU finally.

research with space probes

Jupiter became alreadyfrom several space probes visits, whereby some missions used the planet as a kind jump board of arriving in order with the help of one Swing by - maneuver at the Jupiter at their actual goals.


Jupiter, taken up of one of the pion he probes

Pioneer 10the first space probe was, to 3. December 1973 at a distance of approximately 130,000 km at the Jupiter flew past. Accurately one year later, at the 3. December 1974, followed Pioneer 11, up to approximately 43,000 km to thoseCloud top deck of the planet approached. The two pion he space probes supplied important data over the Magnetosphäre of the Jupiters and made first, to still relatively low dissolved close-ups with of the planet.


Voyager 1 flew in March 1979 by the Jupiter system,followed of Voyager 2 in July 1979. The Voyager space probes supplied new realizations over the Galilei moons, could for the first time volcanic activities on IO prove and discovered the rings of the Jupiters. Also they made the first close-ups of the planet atmosphere.

Work on []


in February 1992 flew past the solar probe Ulysses at a distance of approximately 450,000 km (6.3 Jupiterradien) at the Jupiter. The probe from the ecliptic was hurled and occurred a polar sun orbit. Ulysses studied the Magnetosphärethe Jupiters, could supply however no pictures of the planet, since no camera on board was.


Galileo for the start prepares

the only space probe, which circled so far Jupiter, was NASA - probe Galileo, to 7. December 1995 after somewhat more than six years flying time into an orbit around the planet swung. Already on the way to the Jupiter Galileo could observe 1994, like the comet Shoemaker Levy 9 on from the probe still 238 millionkm removed Jupiter hit and enormous explosions of the size of the earth in the atmosphere of the planet released. Despite the distance Galileo could catch singular pictures of the direct impacts, which took place on the earthturned away side.

Galileo circled Jupiter overlong and several times Vorbeiflüge at the Galilei moons implemented seven years. Among other things Galileo observed volcanic eruptions on IO, supplied referring to a hidden ocean to Europe and examined the cloud movements in Jupiters atmosphere. However that could due to the lossprimary antenna of the space probe only a fraction of the quantity of scientific data to the earth to be transferred, which was planned originally.

Artistic representation of the entrance of the atmosphere cap

beside the orbiter covered the mission of Galileo also suspending an entrance cap, inJupiters atmosphere to penetrate and different data over temperature, pressure, wind velocity and chemical composition to supply should. Into 82 million km distance to the Jupiter the cap separated from the nut/mother probe in July 1995. To 7. December 1995 dipped the cap alsoa speed of 170.000 km/h in an angle of approx. 9° into the atmosphere of the Jupiter, was braked with the help of a heat shield and unfolded some minutes later a parachute. Subsequently, the cap supplied 57.6 minute long data, during ithanging on the parachute moved itself about 160 km deeply into the atmosphere, before it was crushed by the enormous external pressure. In the last seconds the probe registered a pressure of 22 bar and a temperature of 152 °C.

The primary missionwith Jupiter was originally only for 23 months until December 1997 planned, however then altogether three times one extended, since devices and drive were still functional and good results suggested. To 21. September 2003 finally became Galileo into the Jupiter atmospheresteered, since the probe because of lack of fuel and losses of electronics, under which by the probe during the last years received high radiation dosage, would have been later no longer guidable. There was the danger that on Europe fell Galileo and itwith terrestrial bacteria to contaminate could. This would have made future missions more difficult for the research of life traces on the Jupitermonden.


the space probe Cassini Huygens, which was on the way to the Saturn, passed at the end of of 2000 /Anfang 2001 the Jupiter systemand made thereby numerous measurements and photographs. At the same time Galileo operated in the Jupiter system, so that it was for the first time possible to examine the planet and its Magnetosphäre at the same time with two space probes. Cassini flew to 30. December 2000 at a distancefrom approximately 10 million kilometer at the Jupiter past and produced among other things some the highly soluble global photographs of the planet.

current ones and future missions

to 19. January 2006 started space probe new Horizons, which is to the Pluto on the way,becomes with its flyby at the Jupiter in February and March 2007 (largest approximation takes place to 28. February) data over the giant planets collect. As well as the space probe is to observe cloud movements on Jupiter, the Magnetosphäre of the planet studies after polar lights and lightningsin Jupiters atmosphere look out hold. Over the four large Galilei moons however only few scientific data can be won, since the probe will pass these at a large distance. New Horizons will fly past three times more near than Cassini Huygens the Jupiter,the largest approximation is to be with approximately 32 Jupiterradien.

Computer simulation of the space probe Juno before the Jupiter

for the year 2010 or 2011 is projected by NASA the start of the orbiter Juno, it is 5.2 years after the start ina polar orbit with a Periapsis of 5000 km and a scan time of eleven days occur. The primary mission of the probe is to take about one year long and contain 32 of such orbits. Juno is to the study of the magnetic field as well as the atmosphereserve, which will be able to observe Galilei moon the probe at the most from a larger distance. A characteristic of the probe is their power supply; as the first mission to one of the outside planets it will be operated completely by solar energy.

After the discovery oneWater ocean on the moon Europe rose the interest of the planet researchers in the detallierten study of the ice moons of the Jupiters. For this purpose at NASA the Jupiter Icy Moons orbiter (JIMO) was sketched mission. This consisted 2017 of a more starting large space probe,the one atomic reactor as energy source for their ion engines and instruments to use should. JIMO should circle and with the help of a strong radar and many other instruments examine the three large ice moons of the Jupiters - Kallisto , Ganymed and Europe - successively. InYear 2005 was stopped the financing for JIMO due to its complexity and many technical difficulties.

As replacement for a part of the JIMO mission at present Europe should be orbiter mission in the discussion, however by far not as ambitiously as JIMOwould be. The mission is to have conventional power supply (RTGs) and engines. The start would take place possibly sometime in the next decade, possibly in a co-operation with the ESA, which pursue similar goals with the exploration of Europe.


major item: Jupiterpositionen until 2021

in the following table are indicated the visibilities of the Jupiter for the years 2004 to 2006. Apart from the date of the opposition also in each case the apparent brightness is, the distance to the earthand the angle diameters of the Jupiter with the opposition indicated.

Stationarily, then declining opposition opposition distance opposition brightness angle diameter stationary, then rechtläufig conjunction to the sun
4. January 2004 4. March 2004 4.42570 AE -2.5 likes 44.5 " 5. May 2004 21. September 2004
2. February 2005 3. April 2005 4.45664 AE -2.5 likes 44.19 " 5. June 2005 23. October 2005
5. March 2006 4. May 2006 4.41269 AE -2.5 likes 44.63 " 6. July 2006 21. November 2006

culture history

in that Astrologie stands for Jupiter among other things for expansion, luck, religion and philosophy. Jupiter becomes the element fire, the asterisk contactor and that 9. House assigned.

see also

Web on the left of

Commons: Jupiter - pictures, videos and/or audio files


material video (from the television broadcast alpha Centauri):

This article became into the list of the articles worth reading taken up.

  > German to English > de.wikipedia.org (Machine translated into English)