Why is Jupiter
made of gases?
KIM, AGE 10, HAMBURG, GERMANY
Answer: Something called solar wind blows
off from the Sun all the time. The nearer to the Sun you are, the
stronger the wind feels.
The planets that were nearer the Sun had their
atmosphere (gas surrounding them) blown away but the planets further
out could keep hold of theirs and so they are made of almost entirely
I know Jupiter has a ring but is it possible
EVE, AGE 11, HONG KONG
Answer: Jupiter, like Saturn, Uranus and
Neptune has rings. However it’s only the rings of Saturn that can
be seen from telescopes here on Earth. The best pictures we have
got of Jupiter’s rings were taken by spacecraft visiting the planet.
What year was Jupiter discovered? Who discovered
MEGAN, AGE 10, USA
Answer: Jupiter has been known about ever
since mankind has looked at the night sky. Because Jupiter can be
seen without a telescope, it would even have been seen by cavemen!
Can there be life on Jupiter's moons?
Answer: One of Jupiter’s moons, Europa is
thought to have a deep ocean under a surface of ice.
It's quite possible that primitive life may exist
deep at the bottom of the ocean around thermal vents, very much
like those found at the bottom of our oceans.
On Earth, the life found down at the depths gets
its energy from the vents, no sunlight reaches it. Its quite likely
that life on Europa may have exist in this way too.
Close-up of Jupiter's red spot
What is the temperature on Jupiter?
Answer: The temperature at Jupiter varies
a lot. Its average temperature is -130 degrees.
What is Jupiter's red spot?
JOHN, AGE 10, BANFF, ABERDEENSHIRE
Answer: The Great
Red Spot on Jupiter is a hurricane just like the ones we get here
on Earth. The only difference is that the hurricane on Jupiter is
three times as big as the Earth!
If Jupiter went supernovae (blew up), would
it affect Earth and if so, in what way?
ROBERT, AGE 12
Answer: A supernova
is what happens at the end of a really big star's life. They blow
themselves to pieces in fractions of a second.
This only happens to really big stars though. The
Sun is quite average and so will not die this way. Jupiter is a
planet and so will not blow up in this way.
When was Jupiter discovered?
MARY JO, AGE 16
Answer: The Romans
knew about Jupiter as they gave it its name.
However, because Jupiter is so very bright, even
primitive people would have known there was something special about
it, as it moves, like the other bright planets, against the background
So in real terms, Jupiter was not discovered on
a certain date, we have just always known there was something special
about that speck of light.
Can there be life on Jupiter's moon Europa?
NUPUR DESAI, AGE 13
Answer: There is
a good chance there is life on Europa - very simple life, but still
a good chance it is there.
Europa is a moon that is covered in a shell of
ice. Below the ice is thought to be a huge ocean.
We have seen pictures from spacecraft that show
yellow/brown stains in the ice which we think are a sign for life.
If life is there, then it is probably living off
warmth from under water volcanoes just like life at the bottom of
How far is Jupiter from Earth?
CLEMENTINE, AGE 9
Answer: At it's nearest
to the Earth, Jupiter is about 625 million km and at its most distant
from us it is around 972 million km.
Could you tell me how long is a day on Jupiter?
HANNAH BOYLE, AGE 11
Answer: It actually
takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds for the Earth to spin once.
This is why we see the stars creep further and
further across the sky throughout the year. On Jupiter one day is
just 9 hours and 55 minutes.
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