Best of AOP - Solar System

Jupiter

The Big One. About twelve times the diameter of Earth, Jupiter is the most massive planet in the solar system. Its atmosphere (and it has a lot of atmosphere) is mostly hydrogen and helium, giving it the chemical composition of a star. If it was a hundred times more massive, it would be a star, and you would live in a binary system!

All of the features you see on Jupiter are clouds and storms. The large oval cloud is the "Great Red Spot." Without the aid of a sensitive detector and contrast enhancing processing the GRS looks like the great pale pathetic pink spot with your eye through a telescope (in another words, it is a subtle feature). However, don't let this description deter you from appreciating the magnitude of this Jovian hurricane- it is several times the size of the Earth!

Jupiter orbits the Sun five times further out than Earth, and it is one of the brightest objects in the night sky.

Last Updated: 26-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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Equipment

20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/16.8 (2in AP 2x Barlow)

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

Philips ToUcam Pro II webcam

Minimum credit line: Jeff Hapeman/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF