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Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System.

It is a giant planet with


a mass one-thousandth that of the Sun, but two-and-a-half times that of all the other planets in
the Solar System combined. Jupiter and Saturn are gas giants; the other two giant
planets, Uranus and Neptune, are ice giants. Jupiter has been known to astronomers since
antiquity.[17] It is named after the Roman god Jupiter.[18] When viewed from Earth, Jupiter can
reach an apparent magnitude of −2.94, bright enough for its reflected light to cast shadows,[19] and
making it on average the third-brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus.
Jupiter is primarily composed of hydrogen with a quarter of its mass being helium, though helium
comprises only about a tenth of the number of molecules. It may also have a rocky core of
heavier elements,[20] but like the other giant planets, Jupiter lacks a well-defined solid surface.
Because of its rapid rotation, the planet's shape is that of an oblate spheroid (it has a slight but
noticeable bulge around the equator). The outer atmosphere is visibly segregated into several
bands at different latitudes, resulting in turbulence and storms along their interacting boundaries.
A prominent result is the Great Red Spot, a giant storm that is known to have existed since at
least the 17th century when it was first seen by telescope. Surrounding Jupiter is a faint planetary
ring system and a powerful magnetosphere. Jupiter has 79 known moons,[21] including the four
large Galilean moons discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. Ganymede, the largest of these, has
a diameter greater than that of the planet Mercury.
Jupiter has been explored on several occasions by robotic spacecraft, most notably during the
early Pioneer and Voyager flybymissions and later by the Galileo orbiter. In late February 2007,
Jupiter was visited by the New Horizons probe, which used Jupiter's gravity to increase its speed
and bend its trajectory en route to Pluto. The latest probe to visit the planet is Juno, which
entered into orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016.[22][23] Future targets for exploration in the Jupiter
system include the probable ice-covered liquid ocean of its moon Europa.
Jupiter is the only planet whose barycenter with the Sun lies outside the volume of the Sun,
though by only 7% of the Sun's radius.[85] The average distance between Jupiter and the Sun is
778 million km (about 5.2 times the average distance between Earth and the Sun, or 5.2 AU) and
it completes an orbit every 11.86 years. This is approximately two-fifths the orbital period of
Saturn, forming a near orbital resonancebetween the two largest planets in the Solar
System.[86] The elliptical orbit of Jupiter is inclined 1.31° compared to Earth. Because
the eccentricity of its orbit is 0.048, Jupiter's distance from the Sun varies by 75 million km
between its nearest approach (perihelion) and furthest distance (aphelion).
The axial tilt of Jupiter is relatively small: only 3.13°. As a result, it does not experience significant
seasonal changes, in contrast to, for example, Earth and Mars.[87]
Jupiter's rotation is the fastest of all the Solar System's planets, completing a rotation on
its axis in slightly less than ten hours; this creates an equatorial bulge easily seen through an
Earth-based amateur telescope. The planet is shaped as an oblate spheroid, meaning that the
diameter across its equator is longer than the diameter measured between its poles. On Jupiter,
the equatorial diameter is 9,275 km (5,763 mi) longer than the diameter measured through the
poles.[54]
Because Jupiter is not a solid body, its upper atmosphere undergoes differential rotation. The
rotation of Jupiter's polar atmosphere is about 5 minutes longer than that of the equatorial
atmosphere; three systems are used as frames of reference, particularly when graphing the
motion of atmospheric features. System I applies from the latitudes 10° N to 10° S; its period is
the planet's shortest, at 9h 50m 30.0s. System II applies at all latitudes north and south of these;
its period is 9h 55m 40.6s. System III was first defined by radio astronomers, and corresponds to
the rotation of the planet's magnetosphere; its period is Jupiter's official rotation.[88]