Jupiter Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar

System.[13] It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is cla]sified as a gas giant along with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Together, these four planets are sometimes referred to as the Jovian or outer planets. The planet was known by astronomers of ancient times,[14] and was associated with the mythology and religious beliefs of many cultures. The Romans named the planet after the Roman god Jupiter.[15] When viewed from Earth, Jupiter can reach an apparent magnitude of −2.94, making it on average the third-brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus. (Mars can briefly match Jupiter's brightness at certain points in its orbit.) Jupiter is usually the fourth brightest object in the sky (after the Sun, the Moon and Venus);[46] at times Mars appears brighter than Jupiter. Depending on Jupiter's position with respect to the Earth, it can vary in visual magnitude from as bright as −2.9 at

6 during conjunction with the Sun.[67] Earth overtakes Jupiter every 398. the width of a zodiac sign.9 days as it orbits the Sun. for a period Jupiter seems to move backward in the night sky. Jupiter appears to undergo retrograde motion with respect to the background stars. there was a favorable opposition in September 2010.1 to 29. It was only during .[5] Favorable oppositions occur when Jupiter is passing through perihelion. Jupiter's 12-year orbital period corresponds to the dozen astrological signs of the zodiac. As Jupiter approached perihelion in March 2011. Because the orbit of Jupiter is outside the Earth's.8 arc seconds. an event that occurs once per orbit. each time Jupiter reaches opposition it has advanced eastward by about 30°. performing a looping motion. The angular diameter of Jupiter likewise varies from 50. As it does so. That is. the phase angle of Jupiter as viewed from the Earth never exceeds 11.opposition down to −1.[22] That is. That is. and may have been the historical origin of the signs. a duration called the synodic period. the planet always appears nearly fully illuminated when viewed through Earth-based telescopes.5°.

[68] .spacecraft missions to Jupiter that crescent views of the planet were obtained.

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