10 incredible facts about Jupiter
It’s finally happened. Spacecraft «Juno» managed to reach the orbit of Jupiter. To do this, scientists burned a lot of money ($1 billion) and made poor Juno to fly the monstrous distance of 3 billion kilometers. But it was worth it, because if the project succeeds, we’ll know what is hidden behind the clouds of this huge planet. About it you can read now everywhere, but we, unexpectedly, decided to open the eyes of the main culprit of this celebration by the name of Jupiter.
What do we know about this planet? In addition, in Roman mythology, Jupiter is the equivalent of the Greek Zeus. Jupiter is son of Saturn, brother of Neptune and Juno. Not without incest Juno to be his wife. Well, if we talk about the planet, Jupiter plays the role of the largest celestial body in the Solar system. It is not cool, very important to us, not only from the point of view of astronomical science, but also the survival of our species. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and will tell you all about it.
1. Jupiter could become a star, if…
In 1610 Galileo discovered four moons of Jupiter: Europa, IO, Callisto and Ganymede. The first man saw how some celestial body moves around a large object. Before that people could contemplate only a Month to orbit the Earth. This discovery was a great help for Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus and his theory that the Earth is not the center of the Universe. As the largest planet in the Solar system Jupiter is heavier than all other planets put together 2 times. The atmosphere of Jupiter takes place on the star, also consists of hydrogen and helium, and part of the modern astronomer believes that if Jupiter became even more (in 80 times), it could become a star. Given the four massive moons and many other smaller heavenly bodies, Jupiter is vaguely reminiscent of a miniature Solar system. It is so huge that it would take about 1,300 planets the size of Earth to reach the level which corresponds to the gas giant.
2. The great red spot
Visual planet is divided up into great strips. Some of them are bright, others dark. Stripes are formed by strong winds that move at 650 miles per hour. The white areas of the clouds in the upper atmosphere consists of frozen and crystallized ammonia. Dark clouds (or clouds?) contain other chemicals. There are more blue stripes — they are observed on the most visible levels. These climatic features far from stability, they drastically change in a short period of time. And also, did you know that on Jupiter diamond go rains? But now not about it, and the great red spot, a giant cloud, which, in essence, is three hundred-year superstorm. It rotates counterclockwise in its widest spot exceeds the diameter of the earth more than three times. The wind speed at the center is equal to 450 kilometers per hour. Spot constantly changes size. Sometimes one gets the feeling that it disappears, but it is only an illusion — the great red spot always returns.
3. Magnetic field
Jupiter’s magnetic field nearly 20 thousand times stronger than Earth. In the case of activation of the electrons which set traps electrically charged particles. The result is something similar to the continual bombardment that the radiation level increases to the state, which is thousands of times stronger than the lethal level for humans. In fact, it is because of this radiation has been difficult to send a spacecraft into the clouds of Jupiter, but we hope that Juno can handle it. After all, she is a real «armored tank». However, the danger is still there, because the Jovian magnetosphere extends for 1-3 million kilometers towards the Sun, forming a kind of tail, which stretches back to 1 billion kilometers from the planet imagine the magnitude.
4. Rotation around the axis
Jupiter, despite its complexity, the fucking quickly makes a full rotation around its axis. Less than 10 hours. This at a time when the Land is required for this 24 hours. A day on Jupiter lasts differently. At the poles — from 9 hours and 56 minutes. At the equator, up to 9 hours and 50 minutes. The fact that the extremely rapid rotation causes a difference in the rate of turnover. At the equator of Jupiter rotates faster by 7 %. Why is this happening? Well, you know that Jupiter is not a solid sphere like the Earth, but rather gaseous. Where spinning a bit faster, especially in the polar regions, somewhere more slowly. But in any case, on this planet, the shortest day in the Solar system.
5. The largest radio station in the Solar system
Radio waves, though not audible to the human ear, but can turn into sound signals. And Jupiter belches forth the most powerful explosions of radio waves, which create a terrible noise when we tune their radios here on Earth. These radio emissions are produced naturally from the instability of plasma in the magnetosphere of a gas giant. When these noises tickled the nerves to the researchers, because they are easily mistaken for signals of others. But all this noise of natural origin, so that «first contact». The majority of astrophysicists believes that the ionized gases that are in the outer layers of the atmosphere, interacting with the magnetic poles creates a semblance of a radio-laser, which produces such strong radiation. So serious that a gas giant sometimes overshadows the sun. Scientists believe that this phenomenon is somehow related to volcanic processes on the moon IO.
6. Jupiter’s Rings
In 1979, Voyager found three rings around the equator of Jupiter. These rings are much weaker than the rings of Saturn and could not be detected by ground-based scientific instruments. They all consist of small, dark particles. In fact, they even four: ring-halo (92 000-122 500 km in diameter), main ring (122 500-129 000 km in diameter), spider ring Amalthea (129 000-182 000 km in diameter) and spider ring Thebes (129 000-226 000 km in diameter). Spider ring with halo-ring 100% made from dust, but the main ring consists of dust by 25 %, the rest is relatively large fragments, among which there are microscopic debris from Jupiter satellites (Adrastea, Thebe, and Amalthea). Scientists believe that, as in the case of Saturn’s rings, the cause may be asteroids and comets.
7. Protector of planets
We are fortunate that such a large object is on the edge of our Solar system, and that she brutal gravitational forces, because they save us from a catastrophe of cosmic proportions. The fact that Jupiter’s gravity attracts asteroids and comets, changing their course. Some of these celestial bodies could get into our planet. Read for example about the comet shoemaker-levy 9 — its collision with Jupiter demonstrates the title of Earth shield. Modern date show that the gravitational field of Jupiter has a strong influence on many asteroids, which are known under the name «Trojan». There are dozens, if not hundreds, and the largest got the names of the heroes of the Iliad: Hector, Achilles and Agamemnon.
8. The Core Of Jupiter
Scientists have suggested that Jupiter has an inner core that is 10 times smaller than Earth. Recall that the diameter of our planet is equal to 13 thousand kilometers, so that the core of Jupiter should be about 1300 kilometers to the rear. It’s about the same size as that of the Earth’s core, only a hundred kilometers more. Strange coincidence, however it is still necessary to check experimentally — it is necessary and Juno.
9. The nightmare of the chemist
Jupiter’s atmosphere is a chemical smorgasbord, where to 89.2 % hydrogen, 10.2 percent helium. The other part consists of numerous traces of ammonia, hydrogen deuteride, methane, ethane, water, ammonia ice, aerosols, water ice aerosols, and ammonia hydro-sulfide aerosols (I hope all correctly named!) In General, a nightmare for human life. At the same time, we have said that Jupiter can be dense inner core whose composition is not known.
10. Callisto — the wounded body in the Solar system
The satellite Callisto more than any other is decorated with craters. And this celestial body is the farthest of the four Galilean moons. Its orbit is outside the radiation belt of Jupiter, so Jupiter suffers less from tidal influences than any other satellite of a gas giant. The diameter of Callisto is 5 thousand kilometers, that is a similar size to mercury. However, Ganymede and Titan would be more. The average temperature on the satellite is -139 degrees Celsius. That saddest thing about this celestial body? It, along with the other three satellites, discovered by Galileo Galilei. It seems to be okay, but the Catholic Church was on the warpath with outstanding scientists, which led to the forced abdication of Galilee from their ideas. Our Church fought against heliocentrism until the XX century.