Is Jupiter a Bully?

We’ve all heard of what bullies do? They can be really mean! But did you know that the planet Jupiter may have been a bully, too?

animated-scientist-image-0011Astrophysicists (space scientists) from the University of Toronto, Canada, think that Jupiter may have pushed another planet clear out of our solar system. They claim this probably happened around four billion-years-ago.

Why?  

Science has learned over the years that planets can eject other planets when they come very close to each other. When this happens, the one object can pick up speed. It can spin away so fast that it will break free from the gravitational pull of the Sun.

Bye, bye, planet!

So it is probable that Jupiter may have “bullied” another gas giant. What happened to that planet? We will likely never know.  

More Fun Facts on Jupiter

Jupiter may be “pushy,” but it sure is interesting. Check out these fun facts on Jupiter.

  • Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. It is 318 times the mass of Earth!animated-planet-image-0084
  • If Jupiter got any bigger, it would start to shrink. This is because it would become denser.
  • Even though Jupiter is enormous, it does not have enough mass to become a star.
  • This planet spins really fast. It rotates at 28,148 miles-per-hour!
  • All the clouds and storms on Jupiter are made up of ammonia crystals.
  • The famous “Red Spot” on Jupiter has been around for at least 350 years. According to data, this storm appears to be shrinking in size.
  • You may not know it, but Jupiter has three very faint rings around it.
  • Jupiter has 67 moons!

Have you seen a really bright star high in the night sky? Chances are you may have been looking at Jupiter.  

binoculars goodIf you want to view Jupiter closer, get your hands on a pair of binoculars, or a telescope. By using even modest magnification, you might spot specks of light orbiting it. These are its Galilean Moons.

Just think, you’ll be seeing what Galileo did when he gazed at the planet in 1610.

What do you think of Jupiter? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.

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