With its numerous moons and several rings, Jupiter looks like a "mini-solar system." Jupiter is the most massive planet in our solar system. On January 7, 1610, while skygazing from his garden in Padua, Italy, astronomer Galileo Galilei was surprised to see four small "stars" near Jupiter. He had discovered Jupiter's four largest moons, now called Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Collectively, these four moons are known today as the Galilean satellites. Io is the most volcanically active body in our solar system. Ganymede is the largest planetary moon and has its own magnetic field. A liquid ocean may lie beneath the frozen crust of Europa. An icy ocean may also lie beneath the crust of Callisto. In 2003 alone, astronomers discovered 23 new moons orbiting the giant planet. Jupiter now officially has 63 moons - by far the most in the solar system. Many of the outer moons are probably asteroids captured by the giant planet's gravity.

The most important atmospherical features.

The meaning of the used abbreviations is as follows
N=North, S=South, E=Equatorial, Tr=Tropical, Te=Temperate, B=Belt and Z=Zone
NPR=North Pole Region and SPR=South Pole Region.

Measuring longitude values on Jupiter is complicated by the fact that the planet spins more rapidly near the equator than it does at the poles. Three systems are used. Jupiter System I is used for features within about 10° of the equator, where a full rotation takes about 9h 50m 30s. Jupiter System II is used for features north and south of this zone (such as the Great Red Spot), where a rotation takes about 9h 55m 41s. Finally, Jupiter System III, which is based on the rotation of Jupiter's interior, is used for radio observations and isn't particularly useful for visual observers. This rotation time of 9h 55m30s probably reflects the rate at which the solid core of Jupiter rotates, far below the cloud layers.


Jupiter and Ganymede on 9 May 2017.

First light with the home build 300mm Cassegrain, in prime focus, and the ZWO ASI120MC camera, focal length : 4990mm.

Jupiter and Ganymede at 21:25:22 UT.

Venus approaching Jupiter, June 2015.

Images made with an 85mm lens and a Canon 600D camera, images are cropped and with Jupiter fixed.

Click on the image to go to the related page.

Jupiter and his moons on 13 May 2015.

Images made with in prime focus of the 300mm Newtonian and the ZWO ASI120MC camera (image is a composite of two images, one of the moons and one of Jupiter).

Jupiter and the four Galilean moons at 20:41:23 UT. From left to right : Callisto, Europa,Io, Jupiter and Ganymede).

Jupiter and Io (including shadow of Ganymede) on 13 May 2015.

Images made with the 300mm Newtonian and the ZWO ASI120MC camera, focal length enlarged to 3750mm with an 2,5x Televue barlowlens.

Jupiter and Io at 20:21:28 UT.

Jupiter and Io (in transit) on 20 April 2015.

Images made with the 300mm Newtonian and the ZWO ASI120MC camera, focal length enlarged to 5700mm by eyepiece projection with an 17mm Plössl eyepiece.

Beginning of the transit (times in METZ)

Jupiter and Io at 21:01:13 UT.

You can find older Jupiter images here.
© Copyright Rob Kantelberg
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