Our Solar System, which comprises of the 9 planets and the average star, Sun, are one of the most amusing things to explore. With so many wonderful facts, incredible happenings and a lot of heavenly bodies, the solar system never fail to stun us.
Like this month in May’2017, one can easily spot Jupiter (the largest planet in the solar system) in the sky. Jupiter is making food showings in the night skies this month, and if you want to see it, you just need a binocular and start checking for Jupiter in the Southeast sky.
While you may not be able to get a complete view with a binocular and may need a small telescope to see it clearly, but, even with binoculars, you may be able to see the four of the largest moons of the planet.
If you are wondering that why seeing Jupiter will amaze you, then here are some of the most interesting facts about Jupiter.
- Jupiter, which is in the fifth position among the planets, when measured from the sun is the largest planet in our solar system. Owing to its big size and closeness to the earth, it is one of the five planets which can be seen with the naked eye from earth.
- The ancient Babylonians were the first people on earth to record the sightings of Jupiter and confirm its existence. They did it in 7th or 8th century BC.
- Jupiter has been named after the king of Roman gods. For Greeks, Jupiter represents the god of the thunder, Zeus. On the flip side, the Mesopotamians consider Jupiter as the God Marduk and the city of Babylon’s patron. Then, there is the Germanic tribes, who consider Jupiter as Sonar, or the Thor.
- The day on Jupiter is the shortest of the days on all the planets, as it turns completely on its axis in just 9 hours and 55 minutes. The faster rotations keep on flattening the planet a bit and are giving it an oblate shape gradually.
- Jupiter is the fourth brightest object in the entire solar system, after Sun, Moon, and Venus. Perhaps, that’s why it’s easier to spot it in the sky.
- Jupiter has 67 moons in total, and out of these 67, the four moons which are the biggest include Callisto, Europa, Io, and Ganymede. These four moons, collectively, are known as the Galilean satellites, as they were first spotted by the Galileo Galilei, the famous astronomer in 1610.
- Ganymede, the moon of Jupiter is not just the largest moon of this planet, but the largest moon of the entire solar system. Ganymede is even larger than mercury, the first planet of our solar system.
- The Jupiter’s great red spot, which has become an identification mark of the plant is actually a storm which has been raging for about 186 years. In fact, some experts suggest that this turbulent and red spot may have been in existence for more than 3.5 centuries.