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Name History:

The Romans named the planets after their gods. Jupiter, in Roman mythology the King of gods. The Romans identified Jupiter as Zeus, the supreme god of the Greeks. Therefore, Jupiter had many Greek characteristics, such as the symbol of Jupiter is a curved yellow 4 with red stripes.

Human Exploration:
Since 1969, many space probes launched off to start the space program and learn more about the science about the planets. On December 3rd 1973, Pioneer 10 went by Jupiter at just 130,000 kilometers away and discovered the moons and the surface of Jupiter. Pioneer 11 came later on December 4th 1974 and stayed within 34,000 kilometers away from the surface of Jupiter. Our well known Voyager 1 came on March 5th 1979 and Voyager 2 came not far apart on July 9th 1979 and stayed 570,000 kilometers away from Jupiter. On both February 1997 and 2004, Ulysses came in at first 409,000 kilometers away and then much further at 240,000,000 kilometers away from the surface. In the 21st century, Cassini, a space probe, stayed 10,000,000 kilometers away from the surface on December 30th 2000. Currently, New Horizons just flew by Jupiter on February 2007 and Jupiters strong gravity sped up New Horizons and which is now on its way to Pluto.

Moons and Planets:

Saturn and The Asteroid Belt were on either side of Jupiter. Jupiter has 63 moons and the 4 moons that Galileo discovered were Europa, Ganymede, Io, and Callisto. Those 4 moons were between 128,000 kilometers and 222,000 kilometers away and the rest were between 11,094,000 and 30,000,000 away. Ganymede was the largest of Jupiters moons. Europa was discovered in January 7th 1610 Galileo and was named the 6th largest moon in the Solar System. Europa was discovered with an under ice ocean with surprisingly, Oxygen! Io looked like a yellow shiny pizza with many unstable and explosive volcanoes.

Physical Characteristics:
Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is basically a giant ball of spinning gas. You can fly through it but you need to build a space shuttle that can handle a great amount of pressure. Jupiter takes 9 hours and 50 minutes to do a complete day and 11.9 Earth Years for Jupiter to have one year. Jupiter is the 5th planet from the sun. It is 778,000,000 million kilometers away from the sun. The winds of the Great Red Spot have winds to more than 300 to 500 kilometers per hours and fit around 2 to 3 Earths. Jupiter has one very faint ring going around it which is made of dust. It has a magnetic field 14 times stronger than Earth's at 4.2 gauss at the equator and 10-14 gauss at the poles. Jupiter can fit up to 1,317 Earths inside the planet and weigh 318 times heavier than Earth.

Interesting Facts about Jupiter:

It is visible to the naked eye in the night sky and can occasionally be seen in the daytime when the sun is low.It is considered highly unlikely that there is any Earth-like life on Jupiter, as there is only a small amount of water in the atmosphere and any possible solid surface deep within Jupiter would be under extraordinary pressures. The Chinese, Korean, Japanese , and Vietnamese referred to the planet as the wood star, based on the Chinese Five Elements in Chinese philosophy. The Greeks called it ??????, Phaethon, "blazing". In Vedic Astrology, Hindu astrologers named the planet after Brihaspati, the religious teacher of the gods, and often called it "Guru," which literally means the "Heavy One". In the English language, Thursday is rendered as Thor's day, with Thor being associated with the planet Jupiter in Greek Mythology.