Jupiter is so large that all of the other planets in the solar system could fit inside of it.  
Jupiter is a large gas planet whose clouds change colours daily. This planet is made
mostly of hydrogen and helium gases. Jupiter gives off two times more heat than it gets
from the
Sun. It shines very brightly in the night sky for nine months of the year when it is
closest to Earth. Huge areas of swirling gases can be found in Jupiter's atmosphere. The
largest swirling area of gas is called the Great Red Spot. Scientists believe this is a large
hurricane-like storm which has lasted for hundreds of years. Large bolts of lightning have
also been seen in Jupiter's atmosphere.

Pictures taken by space probes have shown thin rings around Jupiter. Jupiter has
forty-nine named moons (and may have as many as 63!). One of Jupiter's moons, Io, has
active volcanoes on it. Areas on Io that are near the volcanoes are very, very hot.

In July of 1994, Jupiter was hit by pieces of the Shoemaker-Levy comet. Dark areas
appeared in Jupiter's atmosphere after the large pieces hit the planet.

Jupiter is a cloudy, windy and stormy planet. It is always covered by a layer of clouds, and
wind speeds of 600 km/h are not uncommon. The storms are visible as swirls, bands
and spots. A particularly violent storm, about three times Earth's diameter, is known as
the Great Red Spot. This storm has been in existence for nearly 300 years!

The layer of clouds is divided into several bands. The lighter coloured bands are called
zones and the darker bands are called belts. The colours are caused by small changes
in the temperature and chemistry. Each band rotates in the opposite direction from its
neighbours. Along the edges where the bands meet, these winds collide and create
swirling patterns.

The stormy atmosphere of Jupiter has flashes of lightning just like on Earth. However
these can be up to 100 times more powerful. The lightning is made by water near the
tops of the clouds.

Jupiter has 63 known moons. There are four major moons that were discovered by
Galileo in 1610. Those moons are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. They are called
the Galilean moons. There are often eclipses on Jupiter's cloud tops by the Galilean

How long is a day on this planet?
One Jupiter day is about 10 Earth hours long. You have to say "about" because different
parts of Jupiter rotate about its axis at different speeds. This is caused by the fact that
Jupiter is mostly gases that are in constant motion and sometimes going in opposite
directions. Some efforts have been made to try and measure the rotation speed of the
inner rocky core of
Jupiter, but that has proved to be quite difficult to accomplish due to the
magnetic fields that surround Jupiter and the very active radio energy that is generated by
the atmosphere of Jupiter, which interferes with measuring techniques like radar that has
been used to measure the surface of
Venus and Mars.

One year on Jupiter is 4,335
Earth days or 11.87 Earth years long.

A Jupiter year is about equal to four-tenths (or two-fifths) of a
Saturn year. Thus after every
two Saturn years, Jupiter has completed five full orbits about the Sun. So after 59 years,
Saturn and Jupiter will be back in nearly the same position. When the orbits of two
planets are simple ratios of each other like this, it is called a resonance.

Jupiter is named after the chief of the Roman gods, also called Zeus in ancient Greece. It
was so named because of the planet's enormous size, which dominates all the others.

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Our Solar System
Our Solar System
This comprehensive book
contains information on all
major planets, major star
constellations, space
exploration and our solar
system. Included are fact
sheets, fast facts,
wordsearches, crossword
puzzles, Q's & A's, Student
Activity Sheets,
Teacher/parent resources
and tips, lesson plans and
crafts and activities.  
entire book 208 pages
The Chinese lunar calendar dates back to the second millennium BC. The
Chinese calendar is cyclical. Each cycle is made up of 12 years; after the
12th year, the cycle is repeated.  
This book contains comprehensive
teacher/parent resources, lesson plans and activities relating both to the
Chinese Zodiac and to the Chinese New Year. A Fun interactive learning
experience for Gr K-5  with a particular focus on adjectives,  characteristics
and traits.  
Preview the entire book here