Our Solar System’s Planets: Jupiter

Our Solar System’s Planets: Jupiter

Hi I’m Alex McColgan, and welcome to Astrum.
It’s been a long time coming, and after a lot of requests, here is everything you
could want to know about Jupiter. Jupiter
It is a massive planet. The largest in our Solar system. It is so massive, it is 1/1000th
that of our Sun. That might not sound a lot, but once you realise the Sun contains 99.86%
of all the mass in the solar system, you’ll realise that Jupiter equals almost the remainder.
Its mass is two and a half times that of all the other planets in the solar system combined.
And this brings about an interesting phenomenon, the barycentre between Jupiter and the Sun
is actually above the surface of the Sun, at 1.068 solar radii from the Sun’s centre.
What is a barycentre I hear you ask? Well you see, when we think of an object orbiting
another object, we don’t necessarily think that the smaller object has a gravitational
influence on the bigger object. So the definition of a barycentre is the centre of mass between
these two objects. With Jupiter being the size it is, it doesn’t orbit anywhere close
to the centre of the Sun. The orbit in fact looks more like this, with Jupiter and the
Sun rotating around the barycentre. In this case, the barycentre is above the surface
of the Sun. Still don’t believe me? Have a look at this. I want to give you a really crude representation of what a barycentre is. So here we have the Sun and Jupiter, and we find that the centre of mass is much closer to the Sun than it is to Jupiter. While Jupiter has the greatest mass of any planet in the solar system, it’s not the
densest planet. It is the most massive only because it is the biggest. If Neptune was
the same size as Jupiter, it would be the most massive. And if Jupiter was the same
size as Earth, Earth would be over 4 times more massive. As it is though, the diameter
of Jupiter is 11 times that of Earth, and its total mass is 318 times more than Earth.
As we know, mass affects gravity. This means that Jupiter has a huge gravity, over twice
that of Earth at 2.528g at its surface. The gravity of Jupiter affects every planet to
one degree or another. It is also strong enough to tear asteroids apart and capture 67 moons
at least. Some scientists think that Jupiter destroyed many celestial objects in the ancient
past as well as preventing other planets from forming. They even predict the gravity
of Jupiter is perturbing Mercury’s already eccentric orbit enough that in a few billion
years the tiny planet may either crash into the Sun or be ejected from the solar system
altogether. [end video] At the moment though, it could be the hero of the inner 4 planets.
Without Jupiter acting as a “cosmic vacuum cleaner”, it wouldn’t be sucking up dangerous
objects like long-period comets, or perturbing their orbit enough or giving them a little
kick of energy so that they leave the solar system altogether.
And a question I always had as a child, could Jupiter become a star? Surely someone just
needs to throw a match in seeing as it’s made of flammable hydrogen. Sadly, current
thinking is that Jupiter would actually need to be roughly 75 times more massive than it
is now to be massive enough to be a star, although its volume isn’t too far off from
the smallest known red dwarf. Jupiter is the 5th planet from the Sun, and
it’s 5 times further away from the Sun than Earth. Even so, it can be the 3rd brightest
object in the night sky, after the moon and Venus.
I just want to show how bright that is. Just using a handy cam, we can see Jupiter quite
easily in the night sky. With a maximum apparent magnitude of -2.94, it can actually cast shadows.
As a result of it being so obvious in the sky, it makes a very nice target for amateur
astronomers. One of my subscribers was kind enough to show what he saw when Jupiter pass
by the moon. With good magnification, you can see its patterns quite clearly.
And what makes these patterns? The cloud layer is only about 50km thick and contains ammonia
crystals much like on Saturn, but the colouration comes from compounds heating up from deep
within Jupiter and then rising. These compounds are known as chromophores, and when they reach
the clouds, they interact with the UV light of the Sun to create these spectacular multi-coloured
bands. This is quite the cycle though, and the face of Jupiter can change dramatically
over time. Even if their colours do change, the actual latitude of these bands remains
consistent enough to be given identifying designations, but they can vary in width over
the course of time. Lots of storms and turbulence occur where the bands meet and it is the reason
Jupiter has the very famous great red spot. This storm is huge. It can easily fit the
diameter of Earth within it. It has existed for as long as we know since it was first
discovered in the 17th century. It might very well be a permanent feature of the planet,
but interestingly it has decreased in size since observations began. The reason for its
reddish colour is unknown, and the colour of the spot can vary greatly – from brick
red to almost white. The most recent theory for its colour is chemical compounds being
broken up by the UV light of the Sun, much in the same way as the process that happens
on the rest of the planet. The storm is actually much higher up in the atmosphere than the
surrounding clouds and as a result can interact with sunlight a lot more. This would explain
why its colour can be much stronger than anything around it. Another storm, known as “Red
Spot Jr”, formed when three storms merged into one, and it has so far passed unscathed
by its bigger neighbour and is now quite a prominent feature of the planet. It could
last for another couple of hundreds of years if it avoids the same fate of a similar storm
which passed right through the heart of the Great Red Spot.
So what do we think Jupiter is made of? Well much like Saturn, under the atmosphere are
gaseous, then liquid, then metallic forms of hydrogen. The further into the planet you
go, the greater the pressure becomes. Under immense pressure, hydrogen acts as a metal.
Beneath that is an ice or rocky core. Because we can’t recreate on Earth the immense pressures
Jupiter experiences, we don’t really know what properties these materials have at the
core. Roughly 90% of Jupiter is thought to be hydrogen, 10% helium, and then trace amounts
of methane, ammonia and others. And yes, you may have noticed on this picture,
Jupiter does indeed have rings. Nothing on the scale of Saturn, but there are 4 planetary
rings. The main ring is very thin but bright, the rest quite wide but exceptionally faint.
The main ring is about 6,500km wide, and the only distinctive feature you can see is what
is known as the Metis notch. Something else of note about Jupiter is its
remarkably strong magnetosphere. It is 14 times stronger than Earth’s, due to the
planet’s liquid metallic hydrogen centre. This makes it the strongest magnetosphere
of any planet in the solar system, and it’s beaten only by the Sun’s sunspots. There
are a couple of reasons why this is really interesting. The first being that magnetospheres
channel solar wind to the planet’s pole which produce magnificent aurorae. The second
is that the four biggest moons of Jupiter are protected from this solar wind because
they orbit within the magnetosphere. This implies they don’t need their own strong
magnetospheres because Jupiter is doing that for them.
And I’ll just very quickly talk about the Moons, because I want to save them for a future
video. Jupiter has 67 known natural satellites. 51 are under 10km in diameter, but the 4 largest,
“Galilean moons”, are some of the biggest in the solar system. They are Io, Europa,
Ganymede and Callisto, and they are all interesting in their own right. Ganymede is actually the
biggest moon in the solar system and has a greater diameter than that of Mercury.
We’re almost at the end of this video sadly, but we’ll finish by talking about the orbit
and rotation of Jupiter. Jupiter like I mentioned before is the 5th planet from the Sun, it’s
found on the outskirts of the asteroid belt and sits in between the orbits of Mars and
Saturn. It is 778 million km away from the Sun on average, or 5.2AU, and completes its
orbit every 12 Earth years. The axial tilt of the planet is small, only 3 degrees. This
means it doesn’t experience much change in seasons, unlike Earth and Mars. And very
much like Saturn, its radius at the equator is greater than at the poles. It rotates very
fast, faster than any other planet, completing a rotation in only 10 hours. But due to it
not being solid, it doesn’t rotate the same speed all over, a rotation at the poles taking
5 minutes longer than at the equator. And with this final thought, take a look at
Jupiter through the infrared. Demonstrating the immense size and power of this planet,
this dot at the bottom of the planet is the impact of an object from space, which if it
had hit Earth, could have spelled the end of our planet as we know it. We can be glad
Jupiter is there, not only for its beauty, but also because in so many ways it is an
asset to our solar system. Thank you so much for watching this far. Did
you learn something today about Jupiter you never knew before? What other things do you
know that I didn’t include in this video? I would most humbly ask that you share it
with friends, family, neighbours and acquaintances as I put a lot of time into these videos,
and if this channel really takes off I would be able to do it full time and make more of
these kinds of videos in the future much faster. And what would you like to see next on this
channel? Post in the comments below, and I’ll see you next time.


  • Георгий Грудин says:

    THE EARTH IS ROUND IDIOTS its explained and backed up😂😂😂 its complicated this is the result of ancient nuclear wars , chemical warfare the previous generations killed 67.50% of the people population shit like agent orange(dioxin)made by the US army- GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!. Is still messing with the vietnamese soil jungle also messing with the genes of people and animals thats why the earth is round. Btw trump has been taken hostage by the jewish bankers!! they are the ones in control now . How is the queen of england still alive??? Heart transplants and opium ? what about the middle eastern poppy fields ??? We all know our armies didnt just destroy all of it where else do you think we get the ALL the chemicals for the labs to produce the pharmacutical "medicine" hahahaha FUCK YOU !

  • gamingradeon says:

    Thank you jupiter for being with us, thank you…

  • Lucas Silva says:

    you forgot to say that the distance between 2 objects also influence the barycenter, if the earth were much farther from the sun the barycenter would be also above the sun

  • KillPixel Games says:

    roger waters?

  • Younger Chanel says:

    wonderful video

  • Sam Starr says:

    You forgot to mention about the radiation that Jupiter emits, it will fry space probes that pass through the bands of radiation. The probes have to be on a orbital trajectory that avoids the radiation bands.

  • Gato Villano says:

    I'm not too good with physics. Biochemistry is my field. But I was listening to you talking about the question ''could Jupiter become a star'' at 3:42. Yes, for Jupiter to have enough mass to become a star, on it's own, it would have to be 30x larger.

    But, if my memory of my physics classes is still fresh in my mind, pressure online reduces the temperature needed to create nuclear fusion. So the equation has 2 factors: pressure and temperature. If the temperature of Jupiter would increase, would it become a star?

    As we know, in 5 billions years, the size of the sun will have increased and it will engulf a considerable part of the solar system. At the same time, the sun will lose a third of its mass (this mass will probably be pulled into Jupiter). At which point, Jupiter will receive a considerable amount of heat from the sun. Will it have enough energy then to become a star?

  • peeareeff says:

    thankful that i ran into this channel aaaaa! thank you very much, youve provided all the infos i needed aaaaa. subscribeeed!

  • Gacheru Mburu says:


  • Dũng Michael Phong Bùi-Mitchell says:

    Actually, if Jupiter were 80x more massive, it would have been a star, not 75x. It now has 79 moons as of July 18, 2018.

  • luima5 says:

    I just subscribed

  • tony baloney says:

    You are doing a fine job! I know the sky and planets as fairly well, but you manage to teach me something every time. I've seen Neptune, Uranus and Saturn videos and likes them all. Keep it up.

  • Pedorosa Villales says:

    you are awesome dude!

  • Radha Krishan says:

    The Jupiter is bigger than the sun

  • Gertrude Richardson says:

    The music is too loud and distracting. For many people with hearing loss the voice and the loud music become one big noise and we cant hear either of them clearly.

  • Lady D says:

    1) I learned a lot I didn't know, thanks!
    2) What else do I know about Jupiter that you didn't share in this video?
    That ever since I watched a press conference type phone call video thing in which the Nasa Scientists were discussing the results of whichever probe was there I can't seem to stop confusing facts about Jupiter and Saturn…all because it's not supposed to have rings too damn it!
    Probably not what you meant but still, it's what I know that wasn't in the video =}

  • Noam Bahar says:


  • Jim Bo says:

    I like these videos better than some of the “Science channel” ones.

    It is to the point….

  • M Czenk says:

    Jupiter isn't a failed star, it's a really successful planet.

  • Sirus Safavi says:

    Hi Alex
    Love your channel –5:07 video is it from junocam

  • Phillip Burns says:

    67 moons…wow it is a Moon hoarder!!🤣🤣🤣
    Interesting 👍👍👍

  • James Angius says:

    I absolutely love your channel! These planet profiles are amazing!!!

  • Chirantan Khastgir says:

    A teacher in school once told me the highest temperatures in the solar system aren't on the sun, but where solar radiation meets Jupiter's magnetic field lines. Is that true?

  • BlotRorschach says:

    Don't know if I'd want Jupiter to be a star. Its current configuration is almost indescribably beautiful.

  • Rui S. says:

    you could have mentioned that the galilean moons can be see from earth with a simple digital camera or binoculars with a modest zoom, and how familiar that looks like, like a miniature "solar" system. . You videos are remarkably good. I've been looking through all of them now. Thank you

  • Staarkalinou says:

    This is interesting but the music is way too much..

  • Polygon Matic says:

    Excellent video Roger Waters!

  • paxzindi says:

    Great video.

  • Rajesh Subramanian says:


  • Michel Lavau says:

    Fantastic! Thank you so much.

  • Justin Sathue says:

    We love you Astrum. Keep spreading the truth. -G.U.

  • Ahmad Nasery says:

    Thank you Astrum for amazing videos🌷💚

  • daneguitarist1 says:

    Hey Alex, Just watched your mars one, and .. im gonna be honest, not that it matters haha, but I never pictured you as a white guy hahaha, anyways

    loving the channel ive been watching for a while, subscribed and liked here for sure,
    I make music for movies, if you ever need an intro or whatever background music maybe we can team up


    [email protected]

  • Luis Gonzalez says:

    Love your channel keep it up

  • Fred Miller Jr says:

    I thought I was the only kid who thought throwing a lit match into Jupiter would make it turn into a star lol.

  • Zakariya mohamed says:

    Is that you Mr Alex 01:30

  • Khalid Azizi says:

    Which music is this 6:35

  • Ron gould says:

    All your videos are well done. I'v enjoyed every one i'v seen so far keep up the great work.

  • Lady-in-Red - says:

    Shout out to the music. I love it. It captured me as much as Jupiter captures objects.

  • Robin Swamidasan says:

    I absolutely love your videos. They are the most informative and well produced on this subject. I'm hooked.
    But, one point (Did I hear right?), at 1:54 : "If Neptune were the same size as Jupiter, it would be the most massive. And if Jupiter were the same size as the Earth, the Earth would be over 4 time MORE massive." Shouldn't that be '… would be 4 times LESS massive.'? Thanks very much.

  • Fernando Solimando says:

    Thank you for this! How about elaborating on what is known about Jupiter's radiation?

  • Sam Diveley says:

    So we ain’t gonna talk about Europa??

  • Zachary Santerre says:

    I have seen so many documentaries and shorts on Jupiter since Juno, and I absolutely love how different this one is. You not only told me things that I didn't know (which is surprising considering how many things I've watched about it) but you showed footage that I've never seen ( which is also surprising for the same reason )
    Great work. Much appreciated

  • Dr. A says:

    The large moons are about the size of Mercury. It’s like planets orbiting a planet. Jupiter is its own system.

  • marcusdolby1 says:

    Dude, you look like Roger Waters long lost twin !!

  • banjo099 says:

    The planets are mostly made of common rock, don't believe too much what they say about the chemical compounds in them. There has never really been real gaseous planets.

  • aminluqman hakim says:

    the Astrum creator

  • 77moessa says:

    some great images ( graphics) of the gas giant while playing alien isolation…

  • Dusan Djordjevic says:

    I Have a strange feeling that only Saturn should have rings. Other planets are not allowed to have them !!!

  • Don's Gravitational Logic says:

    Very clear informative and factual. I enjoyed this video. Metalic hydrogen for me, is just a theory because I believe atoms are built by absorption rather than compression and that the interior of the
    Sun, for instance is just a primary particle mix that has not yet formed into an atomic construction.

  • S. O. says:

    Your planetary videos are fascinating! Thank you so much for making them!

  • Kavish Koomar says:

    have you seen Brian Cox's The Planets on Jupiter? it talks about how Jupiter was heading towards the sun then its gravity pulled it back… i dont understand how this happened?1

  • Mark Bunds says:

    It was great to see you in person! I’ve always enjoyed your voice work.

  • Daniel Corrêa says:

    What is the name of the background music ? Love it

  • Tommey Leverage says:

    Great video

  • Matthew Sowards says:

    So Jupiter has no solid mass under all the clouds?

  • CajunSweetTart says:

    Love your accent!

  • DIPAN NANDI says:

    The Barycentre!!!!!

  • Hannes Ziegler says:

    Is anyone experiencing sputtering videos on this channel? Watching from USA

  • Saito San says:

    Does magnetos sphers act like emps without a ingoing current?

  • Taran Darkalisia says:

    it has rings. wow this is first time i am hearing it. and loved it

  • Karinna Wurth says:

    I'm glad I saw this as a suggested video .My father worked for nasa for many years .My parents met in Houston because my dad was working on Apollo 13 and my mom was teaching grade school in Houston .She had actually been dating Jack Swigert before she met my dad.My dad went on to work on many other projects such as , Challenger ,Voyager 1&2, Hubble ,Cassini ect. I remember moving to Houston from our home in Colorado so that dad could work on Challenger. I vaguely remember my father coming home that night beside himself with sadness and utter confusion. Fortunately, we moved back to Co.where I was able to be home again 🙂 My dad and I used to spend hours looking at the stars from high up on our deck in the rocky mountains . My father would tell me everything I wanted to know about the vast sea of stars and planets that we were lucky enough to observe.I lost my father at age 17, 1997.These videos keep me close to my very much missed father. bittersweet , and at the same time proud .Thank you .

  • Gareth Wren says:

    Excellent video! Love these. Keep it up

  • Pighood says:

    Dude you look just like Roger Waters

  • G Dunken says:

    0:18 omg, the first 4 rocky planets including Earth were created from leftover crumbs after the Sun and Jupiter gobbled up most of the stuff.

  • The Fishy Life ! says:

    I'm watching this on my phone and it's awesome to see and Learn about Jupiter as I keep looking away up at the sky at this bright star that's Jupiter!!!!!

  • Stank Faust says:

    QUESTION: Why do you feel that 90% of Jupiter's mass is hydrogen?
    Matter stratifies in the presence of gravitational acceleration in accordance with the periodic table.

    Hydrogen being the lightest comprises the upper most atmosphere and acts as a dense filter for energy given off by the planet, so we assume it's all hydrogen mysteriously compressing in on itself in spite of (physics).

    While Jupiter certainly has a lot of hydrogen, I believe this has more to do with it having a deep enough gravity well and strong enough magnetic field that light elements cannot escape, so you get a lot of hydrogen. Like a hydrogen trap, no free floating hydrogen escaping off into space. but 90%? that's antiquated thinking because of my next question.

    Jupiter's core. Why do you think it is comprised of rock and ice? we know a little about our own planet, why would Jupiter be set up on a different physics recipe? We have a magnetic field because our iron nickel core is spinning faster than the mantle and crust. It's a magneto.

    There's a big tell there that the core of Jupiter is ferrous, is dynamic like the earth's (spinning faster closest to the center) and MUCH bigger than the earth's

    We focus on the dense upper atmosphere because that's what we see, but looking at it from a perspective of magnetic field generators, perhaps there's a large planet body beneath that atmosphere doing what large planet bodies do. Spin and make magnetic fields.

  • SuckMy SpinningBalls says:

    Thank you, Jupiter. You beautiful spinning ball, you.

  • Drew Eric Noftle says:

    Love these videos! Thank you!!!

  • David Dempsay says:

    Thank you for giving credit to the source of the music you used in this video. It's refreshing to see a YouTube poster who remembers this simple courtesy. Also, excellent choice of music, too!

  • Anthony L. Salinas says:

    God and his Son (King Jesus Christ), the architect of the universe.

  • Yackytacky says:

    Jupiter is are hero

  • Yackytacky says:

    Jupiter is so beautiful

  • Mike Barnes says:

    Why doesnt this have millions of views??

  • Ocean says:

    You look like Roger Waters

  • HAIDEN Music says:

    The music on this one sounds like a summer holiday resort guide soundtrack… I don't think Jupiter would be that peaceful to spend a two week vacation on… but that's me

  • Rodrigo Rubio says:

    Well, Jupiter is my favourite planet now

  • Creatiff777 says:

    "So what do you think Jupiter is made of?" I think it is made of vanilla ice-cream with hot caramel on top. Looks very tasty! 🙂 Awesome video! Your channel is really great.

  • wadethewallaby2 says:

    You sowed your face!

  • SticKyfInGAz95 says:

    Out of all the space channels on YouTube, I find yours is the most interesting.

  • yaka says:

    I recommend you watch black hole apocalypse is you haven't already!!!

  • Shashank Sharma says:

    Jupiter's moon Io is one of the most volcanically active bodies in our solar system. It's volcanic ejecta orbits Jupiter and strengthens it's magnetic field even further!

  • nat jonestower says:

    Couldn't look anymore like Roger Waters.

  • Zero Eight says:

    The chad thundercock of planets

  • Spiritaelia says:

    Wait, so if Jupiter has a slight gravitational pull on the sun, does that mean it pulls the sun slightly closer and further away from other planets like earth? Or does it also simultaneously pull the other planets at equal amount? Sorry if this is a really dumb question ^^'

  • Vampirerockstar says:

    Big red spot: "I shall call him mini me"

  • kys says:

    Jupiter there like the knight in shining armor for the earth. I love Jupiter it's so big and pretty

  • Vishal p says:

    Me : I wanna be a STAR
    Jupitor : he he he….

  • ♫♪Ludwig van Beethoven♪♫ says:

    So another thing necessary for intelligent life is a big mate like jupiter protecting them from asteroids

  • Holl E. H. says:

    If Jupiter's largest moon is larger still than Mercury, why is it still considered a moon and not a planet trapped in Jupiter's orbit?!

    If Pluto got demoted and Mercury didn't, then this would be a planet orbiting another planet. I think this needs more discussion in the scientific community…especially considering Pluto's current status!

    I call Shenanigans!!!

  • Craig Michael Curtice says:

    Wow we can make diamond but we can't make the same pressures that are in the center of Jupiter?

  • MaxB6852 says:

    Someone send that musician back to the lunatic asylum please

  • AltGrendel says:

    Will you have to update the with information from the Juno project?

  • Sunglasses Emoji says:


  • Márcio Della Rosa says:

    I've found so funny "Red Spot Jr."😆

  • Space Racer26 says:

    Would Jupiter launch earth out of the universe?

  • Caldera11 says:

    so…if a probe observing jupiter crashed into jupiter on mission completion, would the burning up of the probe ignite hydrogen in jupiter's atmosphere?

  • Toughen Up, Fluffy says:

    What happened to Discovery One? Did they ever catch Hal?

  • The Path That Rocks says:

    The metallic hydrogen would make an excellent fuel source if we could get it.

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