Juno’s knocking on Jupiter’s door

Ancient stargazers chose well when they named the solar system’s largest planet. That’s because Jupiter was king of the Roman gods.

With more than twice the mass of all the other planets combined, Jupiter also reigns supreme. It’s the most influential member of our planetary family. Jupiter might have hurled the asteroids that delivered water to Earth. It may have robbed Mars of planet-building material. And it could have nudged Uranus and Neptune to the outskirts of our solar system. Jupiter is also a massive time capsule. This ball of gas records what conditions were like when the planets formed more than 4 billion years ago.

People have been scrutinizing Jupiter for more than four centuries. Eight spacecraft have visited the planet. But thick clouds conceal what goes on deep inside. So many of the planet’s most basic mysteries remain. Readmore..


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