Jupiter became of great importance when in 1610, Galileo Galilei directed his telescope and observed the first four natural satellites orbiting the planet, marking the first discovery of a celestial body revolving around an object other than Earth.
Andi Pangerang, Researcher at the Center for Science and Space, National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), said that astronomers recognized Jupiter as the largest planet in the Solar System long before space exploration missions using space probes were launched.
The planet is 142,984 km in diameter or almost 11 times the diameter of Earth, so Jupiter can contain 1,321 Earths of the same size. The mass of the planet is 2.5 times the total mass of the other eight planets including Earth. This is what makes Jupiter the second most dominant celestial body after the Sun.
Jupiter is an example of a gas giant planet in the Solar System. Jupiter’s surface is not as dense as Earth’s. The planet’s core is composed of small rocks enclosed in a shell of metallic hydrogen and surrounded by liquid hydrogen.
Andi explained, this liquid hydrogen is then enveloped by hydrogen gas with a ratio between hydrogen and helium of 90: 10. Overall, the mass ratio of hydrogen and helium on Jupiter is 73: 24. This ratio is very similar to the Sun in which the overall mass ratio is 73:24. hydrogen and helium is 71:27.
Jupiter’s mass density is also similar to that of the Sun. Jupiter contains 1.33 grams per cubic centimeter of volume while the Sun contains 1.41 grams per cubic centimeter of volume.
“Compared to Earth, which is denser than Jupiter and the Sun, it contains 5.51 grams per cubic centimeter of volume,” said Andi, Sunday (28/8/2021).