In the vast reaches of our solar system, Jupiter reigns supreme as a gigantic mystery captivating scientists and astronomers for centuries.
Just when we think we understand the gas giant, this celestial behemoth shatters our assumptions With its blend of unpredictable and often hostile behavior, mesmerizing storms with winds of up to 640 kilometers per hour and the enshrouded mysteries of concealed metallic oceans within its core.
Jupiter still leaves scientists puzzled.
Join us on an extraordinary journey as we delve into the depths of this enigmatic world, uncovering its secrets.
Decades of extensive studies have demonstrated just how remarkably intricate Jupiter is.
Just recently, 12 more moons orbiting the gas giant have been discovered.
The total number of satellites around Jupiter is now 92,, more than any other planet in the solar system.
The latest moons discovered have sizes ranging from 1-3.2 kilometers.
A majority of these moons have extensive orbits, with 9 out of 12 taking over 550 days to complete one revolution around the planet.
Scientists believe that because these distant moons move in the opposite direction of Jupiter’s rotation, they could be captured asteroids.
It’s been widely believed that Jupiter acts as a protective shield, safeguarding our planet from threats from outer space.
In the past, astronomers have even suggested that this was one of the reasons life got a chance at evolving on Earth, But recent findings cast doubt on Jupiter’s role as Earth’s celestial guardian.
Long-period comets, which originate from the distant regions of the solar system and take millenia to orbit the Sun, typically enter our vicinity.
However, thanks to Jupiter’s gravitational influence, most of these swiftly moving icy objects are flung away from the solar system before approaching Earth.
So the chances of long-period comets colliding with our planet are extremely rare, occurring over millions or even tens of millions of years, and Jupiter’s presence plays a crucial role in shielding Earth from these potential impacts.
However, the gas giant’s gravitational forces have both positive and negative implications for life on Earth. On one hand, its immense gravity prevents nearby space rocks from accumulating and forming into a planet.
This led to the formation of the asteroid belt — a collection of numerous small debris fragments scattered between Mars and Jupiter.
But nowadays the gas giant’s gravitational pull continues to influence asteroids, causing some to deviate toward the sun.
This change in their trajectory increases the odds of collisions with Earth, and we’ve already witnessed it in the past.