Jupiter is by far the largest planet in our solar system. So big, that it is nearly two and half times the size of all the other planets combined. Among Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, Jupiter is classified as a gas planet or often called a Jovian planet. The distance to Jupiter is estimated to be 5.20 AU; we find a maximum angular size of 91.7 arc seconds, which corresponds to a linear size of roughly 330,000 km. Expanding on Jupiter's already massive size, the planet has more than 64 moons, including four large ones discovered by Galileo Galilei called the Galilean Moons. It is the third brightest planet seen from earth and the fifth planet from the sun. The Romans named the planet after their god Jupiter and could view it with the naked eye. There has been talk about the possibility of life on Jupiter due to the common chemicals found on it that are similar to earth including water. However, the high temperatures experienced on Jupiter make this possibility doubtful.
The above picture shows Jupiter full of color. It is evident its two darker belts and three white zones which are a result of rapid rotation. Rapid rotation also causes it to have a bulge at the equator, so it is not a perfect sphere. The white, brightness, is a result of the sun reflected off of Jupiter's clouds.
As shown above, this is Jupiter, brightness turned very high to see its four large moons around. These Galilean moons starting with the three on the right from top to bottom are: Europa, lo, and Callisto. Although these three may appear to be right on top of each other they are actually very far apart in the orbit. It is because of the angle the picture is taken that they appear this way. The one on the left is Ganymede. The most faint of the four moons is Callisto, although it may appear to be the smallest it actualy is not. It looks this way because it has the lowest albeto, meaning it reflects the least amount of light.
|Right Ascension (J2000)||02:01:16|
|Filters used||B (Blue), R (Red), V (Green)|
|Exposure time per filter||B, V, and R 0.13 seconds each|
|Date observed||October 22, 2011 @ 4 UT|