The Space & Beyond Blog

5 Bizarre Jupiter Facts

The “King of Planets” is a strange world, and here are just a few of the reasons why Jupiter is so bizarre.

A picture of Jupiter’s south pole with enhanced dark blue color to show the center of the planet.

This image shows Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometers). The oval features are cyclones, up to 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) in diameter. Multiple images taken with the JunoCam instrument on three separate orbits were combined to show all areas in daylight, enhanced color, and stereographic projection. SOURCE: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles

A picture of a blue sprite with a round center and sprouts stemming downward.

On Earth, sprites and elves appear red, thanks to the abundance of nitrogen in our atmosphere. But on Jupiter, where the atmosphere is dominated by hydrogen, these phenomena appear blue or possibly pink. SOURCE: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI

A picture of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot with planet Earth inside of it to show how big the Great Red Spot is.

Measuring in at 10,159 miles (16,350 kilometers) in width (as of April 3, 2017) Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is 1.3 times as wide as Earth. SOURCE: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Christopher Go

A dark image of Jupiter that shows one colorful curved blue ring and one colorful curved red ring extending off of Jupiter.

Voyager 1 discovered Jupiter’s faint, dusty rings during its flyby, and they posed for this Voyager 2 portrait once the probe passed into the planet’s shadow. The curved rings appear orange-red; Jupiter’s multicolored limb comes from the long exposure through two filters. SOURCE: NASA/JPL

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An illustration of the Sun, next to a low-mass star, next to a brown dwarf, next to Jupiter.

This illustration shows that the average brown dwarf is much smaller than the Sun and low mass stars and only slightly larger than Jupiter. SOURCE: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

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