Educator Resources for Jupiter

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun, but it's second to none in size! The largest planet in the solar system is also a gas giant, which means it's made mostly of hydrogen and helium. But no, you couldn't fly a spaceship right through it! Jupiter has more than double the mass of all the other planets combined, so its gravity is way stronger than what we feel on Earth. All that force presses down on the gases in the atmosphere, which get heavier and hotter the deeper you go. The immense pressure turns gas into a liquid, and eventually into a shiny goo called liquid metallic hydrogen. This dense substance is electrically charged, which might explain the planet's massive magnetic field! Jupiter also has the fastest spin in the solar system. The force of that rotation transfers to the atmosphere, creating dazzling stripes known as zones and bands. These stripes move in opposite directions, forming huge swirling storms at their boundaries. The largest is the Great Red Spot—it's wider than Earth and has been raging for almost 150 years! There's so much more to learn about Jupiter, from the mystery at its core to the dozens of moons that orbit it. Click "play" to get started!