Jupiter (Planet)

January 2009
World Book Science Dataset;1/1/2009, p1
Reference Entry
Jupiter, the fifth planet from the sun. The planet is named after Jupiter, the king of gods in Roman mythology. Jupiter is the largest of the solar system's eight major planets, with a diameter 11 times that of Earth and a mass more than twice that of the other seven planets combined. Seen in the night sky, Jupiter appears as a bright starlike object. Through a telescope, Jupiter appears as a slightly flattened sphere, bulging at the equator because of its rapid rotation. For centuries, astronomers have been making detailed observations of Jupiter. In the early 1600s, the famous Italian astronomer and mathematician Galileo studied the planet. It was one of the first planets to be studied by him. Most of the information known about Jupiter was obtained by the Pioneer and Voyager space probes in the 1970s and the Galileo space probe in the 1990s.


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