Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, has always been an enigma to scientists. However, recent discoveries have revealed fascinating information about this gas giant that has been around for billions of years. From its composition to its powerful magnetic field, Jupiter is truly an extraordinary planet.
Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, has been known by many names throughout history. In Roman mythology, it was named after the king of gods, Jupiter. In Greek mythology, the planet was known as Zeus, the equivalent of the Roman Jupiter. In Semitic mythology, the Babylonians named it Marduk, the patron deity of Babylon. These names all symbolize power, authority, and dominance. However, the planet has also been called by other names. For example, some cultures refer to it as the “Morning Star” or the “Wandering Star,” as it is one of the brightest objects in the sky visible to the naked eye. In Africa, different regions had different names for Jupiter. In Swahili, for example, Jupiter is known as “Mbogo” which means “buffalo”, Yoruba religion of Nigeria, Jupiter is associated with the god “Sango” who was the god of thunder and lightning and in Zulu/Nguni language it is known as Umkhuluzi which referes to its size.
Jupiter and Venus lining up over the pyramids– just heavenly. pic.twitter.com/ufWMvRLpHW— Siena Chen is glad 2Seok reunites! (@Siena_Chen12) March 1, 2023
It’s important to recognise that long before any other civilisation was even thinking about studying the stars, Africans were already masters of the cosmos. African civilizations like the Kemet, BaNtu, Nubians, and Ethiopians all had rich astronomical traditions, which helped them develop a deep understanding of the movements of the stars and planets. In fact, some of the earliest known astronomical observations come from ancient South Afrika, where records of celestial events were kept as early as 200 000 BCE. This knowledge was passed down through generations and contributed to the understanding of celestial phenomena in other parts of the world.
In this article, we will delve into the secrets of Jupiter and explore what makes it so unique.
An incredible view of the Venus and Jupiter conjunction! Those galilean moons…— Amazing Astronomy (@MAstronomers) March 5, 2023
Credit: Alessandra Masi, Cadore, Dolomites, Belluno, Veneto, Italy pic.twitter.com/TZUbEBxg8i
Jupiter’s Composition and Formation
Jupiter is a gas giant, meaning it is composed mainly of hydrogen and helium, with a small amount of other elements. Its mass is 318 times that of Earth, and it’s 2.5 times bigger than all the other planets combined. Jupiter’s strong gravity pulled in massive amounts of gas and dust from the disk that formed our solar system, before all the other planets formed. As a result, Jupiter is the first and largest planet in our solar system, forming about 4.5 billion years ago.
Jupiter’s atmosphere is composed of swirling gases and liquids. The layer resting on the surface, known as the troposphere, is about 31 miles thick and made up of ammonia, ammonium hydrosulfite, and water, which form the distinctive red and white bands. Jupiter doesn’t have a true surface, and if a spacecraft were sent there, it would have nowhere to land. The extreme pressures and temperatures deep inside the planet would crush, melt, and vaporize any spacecraft trying to fly into the planet. However, we have sent spacecraft to orbit and explore the planet, such as the Juno probe.
Jupiter’s Magnetic Field
Jupiter’s magnetic field is almost 20,000 times as powerful as Earth’s and is generated by electrical currents in the planet’s outer core, composed of liquid metallic hydrogen. This magnetic field traps swarms of charged particles and accelerates them to very high energies, creating intense radiation that bombards the innermost of its 67 confirmed and named moons. This radiation would destroy anything that got close.
Scientists have recently discovered an FM signal emanating from one of Jupiter’s moons, Ganymede. Jupiter’s moons have always been of great interest to scientists, and it’s possible that some of them, such as Europa, may contain subsurface oceans that could contain life.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot
Jupiter’s most iconic feature is the Great Red Spot, a massive storm the size of Earth that’s been raging since it was first sighted in 1831. It’s the largest storm in the solar system, with winds measured around 400 miles per hour. However, the storm has been shrinking since the late 1800s and may only last another 20 years from now.
Jupiter’s Protection of Earth
Jupiter’s size and powerful magnetic field have possibly saved the planet Earth from certain doom. When the comet Shoemaker Levy 9 was discovered in 1993, scientists saw that the fragments were going to smash into Jupiter. Luckily, for NASA, its Galileo orbiter was still on its way to the gas giant, and many earth-based telescopes and orbiting spacecraft, such as the Hubble Telescope, all were focused on the incredible event that was about to happen. The fragments created huge dark spots in the clouds that heated the gas giant’s atmosphere to temperatures as hot as 53,000 to 71,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If a comet of this magnitude hit the planet Earth, the results would be devastating.
It has been suggested that Zues which is Greek name for Jupiter may be the original Jesus, as there are striking similarities between the story of Jesus and the reality of the planet Jupiter. With this view, we can say that in 1993 the first born son of God, Jesus saved us on Earth!😂
Space fact:— World of Engineering (@engineers_feed) March 8, 2023
A night on Jupiter lasts 5 hours, but a night on Venus lasts 58 days.