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Diameter (km)142,984
Distance to sun (km)778,330,000
Equator (km)142,984

<p>Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System. </p>It's a gas giant with a mass one-thousandth that of the Sun, but two-and-a-half times that of the rest of the planets in the Solar System. Jupiter is one of the objects visible to the naked eye in the night sky, and has been known since before recorded history. It's named after the Roman god Jupiter. Jupiter can be bright for its reflected light to cast shadows, and is on average the natural thing in the night sky after the Moon and Venus, when viewed from Earth. Though helium contains only about a tenth of the number of molecules, jupiter is composed of hydrogen with a quarter of its mass being helium. It may also have a core of elements that are heavier, but like the other giant planets, Jupiter lacks a solid surface that is well-defined. Due to its rapid rotation, the world's shape is that of an oblate spheroid (it has a slight but noticeable bulge around the equator). The outer air is visibly segregated into bands at different latitudes, leading to turbulence and storms across their bounds. A result that is notable is the Great Red Spot, a storm that's known to have been around since at least the 17th century when telescope first saw it.

Surrounding Jupiter is a faint planetary ring system and a magnetosphere. Jupiter has 79 moons, including the four Galilean moons discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. Ganymede, the largest of them, has a diameter greater than that of the planet Mercury. Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to go to Jupiter, making its closest approach to the planet on December 4, 1973; Pioneer 10 recognized plasma in Jupiter's magnetic field and also found that Jupiter's magnetic tail was nearly 800 million km long, covering the whole distance to Saturn. Jupiter has been explored on a number of occasions starting with the Pioneer and Voyager flyby missions from 1973 to 1979, and by the Galileo orbiter. In February 2007, Jupiter was visited by the New Horizons probe, which used Jupiter's gravity to increase its speed and flex its trajectory en route to Pluto. The most recent probe to visit the planet is Juno, which entered into orbit around Jupiter. Future targets for mining in the Jupiter system include the likely liquid sea of its moon Europa.

Source: Wikipedia

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