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Jupiter – The Big Gas Giant.

March 28, 2011


Jupiter is next in line, being the 5th planet from the Sun. But before we arrive at Jupiter we have to travel through a big asteroid belt. Sigh.
Only one of these asteroids, Vesta, is ever visible to the naked eye, and it’s not got the largest diameter! That would belong to Ceres, which is as much as 900 kilometers (560 miles) wide.

You’re VERY unlikely to get hit by an asteroid if you were to travel through an asteroid belt though…

Well that’ll do, they can get pretty boring when all the excitement of Jupiter awaits.

JUPITER!

What a beast. He/She/It ‘s (Jupiter is named after the King of the Gods from Greek Mythology) 142 984 kilometers in diameter across the equator and 43128×1015 km3 in volume. (That’s 1321.3 Earths!) And if that’s not enough, he’s
2.5 times the mass of all the other planets in our solar system!

He’s got 63 moons! But only 4 of these are large enough to be commonly sighted.

Jupiter is primarily composed of hydrogen with a quarter of its mass being helium; it may also have a rocky core of heavier elements.

NASA are planning on sending out a spacecraft to orbit Jupiter in August 2011.
For more information:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/juno/main/index.html

Oo ‘ello, what have we here then?

Jupiter has a giant red spot, if you haven’t noticed already…

It’s basically a high pressure equivalent of a hurricane on Earth, it’s said to have been going for at least 300 years.

Jupiter orbits the sun at 13km per second.
It’s mean surface temperature is -150 degrees Celsius.

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The Sun.

March 16, 2011
So, we’re all living on one of many planets, in one of many solar systems, in one of many galaxies, in the one universe that we’re aware of.
So we’re pretty insignificant. But hey, luckily we, as a species, have the ability to discover and learn about the great world around us.
Let’s start with something familiar…
‘The Sun’ is the name we have given to the only star in our solar system. It’s a big ball of really hot gas. We can feel its heat from Earth and we’re between 91 and 94.5 million miles away depending on our position of orbit.
The sun, like all other stars gets its energy from burning its gases by nuclear fusion. It’s around 14 000 000°C at the center (where the fusion of atoms happens), but only 6000°at the surface. Most stars are made up almost entirely of two main gases: hydrogen and helium.
Our Sun was born from a cloud of gas around 5 000 million years ago. It is made up of different layers of gas; the surface is called the photosphere. Huge flames of hot gas occasionally explode from here. They’re called Solar Flares and Prominences.
I’ll just throw this out there:
Our Sun has a 1 393 000 kilometer diameter. It rotates once every 27 Earth days.
It has 8 planets orbiting it (Poor Pluto :/)
earth sun comparison
As with all stars our Sun will eventually die, but luckily for us, we’ve got about another 5 000 million years until this occurs. When it does, it will have used all its hydrogen and helium will become its main fuel. It’ll expand to around 100 times larger and 1000 times brighter. It will then be a Red Giant. It will then shrink to a white dwarf star, only the size of the Earth.