Jupiter Overview Updated October 1, 2021

Jupiter

"The gas giant"

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Five 'Jupiter' stories

August 2020 - October 2021

Jupiter, named after the king of the ancient Roman gods, is the largest planet in our solar system. Often referred to as “the gas giant” due to its makeup of mostly hydrogen and helium gases. The most notable feature of Jupiter is its “Great Red Spot,” which is an enormous storm that is twice as wide as Earth, where wind speeds can reach over 400 mph.

The planet has been visited by many unmanned spacecraft, including Ulysses, Galileo, Cassini, and many more.

Traditional life here has been deemed unlikely due to the harsh conditions and makeup of the planet.

Important Stats

Moons

Surface Photos

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is swirling faster and scientists don’t know why

The famed Hubble Space Telescope is tasked with keeping an eye on many important objects in the Universe, including Jupiter and its stormy red eye. After more than a decade of observations and collecting data, NASA has discovered that the gas giant’s Great Red Spot is speeding up.

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Lucy in the sky with asteroids: NASA’s mission to Jupiter’s Trojans

Like fossils here on Earth, asteroids, comets, and other primordial bodies act as time capsules to trace the origins of our solar system. NASA’s upcoming Lucy mission, currently scheduled for an October lift-off, is setting out to do just that.

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A spectrometer has successfully been installed on NASA’s Lucy spacecraft

NASA’s Lucy mission is primed to be the first space mission to study the Trojan asteroids around Jupiter. Today the mission moved one step closer to its launch following the successful integration of the L’TES instrument into the spacecraft.

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Saturn and Jupiter will appear closer than they have in hundreds of years during this winter solstice

This year’s winter solstice will bring something special in regards to the planets in our solar system. Saturn and Jupiter will be appearing closer in the night sky than they have since July 16, 1623.

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NASA Lucy mission on track to study Trojan asteroids at Jupiter’s distance from Sun

NASA is planning to embark a spacecraft on a 12-year journey starting next year on a first-of-its-kind mission called Lucy. The Lucy spacecraft will flyby and study distant asteroids in our Solar System as part of a mission to learn more about the origins of our planet and species.

The space agency shared a status update on the upcoming Lucy mission today as the mission team passed a major milestone that puts the launch on schedule for a launch in October 2021.

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