Astronomy is such a fascinating topic. If it is something that interests you, you may wonder how long it takes for different planets in our solar system to go around the sun.
In this article, we will be focusing on one planet in particular - Jupiter. We will be taking a closer look at how long it takes Jupiter to orbit around the sun. In addition to this, we will be discussing how long a day is on Jupiter and whether it experiences seasons.
What Type of Planet is Jupiter?
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun in our solar system. It is very different from Earth and it is more commonly known as one of the gas giants.
It is known for its large size and it is by far the biggest planet in our solar system. If you were to combine all of the planets in the Milky Way together, Jupiter would still be over twice as large! In comparison to earth, Jupiter is around 11 times bigger.
Jupiter is the planet that is well known for its appearance. It looks as though it has stripes, and it contains a red spot. The stripes that we can see from photographs are clouds of water and ammonia surrounding the planet that are very cold. The atmosphere of Jupiter is made from helium and hydrogen.
The red spot that is associated with Jupiter is a big storm that is taking place on the planet. The storm has continued for many hundreds of years.
How Long Does Jupiter Take to Orbit the Sun?
The amount of time taken to orbit the sun varies depending on where in the line the planets feature. As Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun, it does take significantly longer to complete a full orbit. It takes nearly 12 years for Jupiter to orbit around the sun! 11.8618 Earth years to be precise.
TThe orbit takes so long because Jupiter is a long distance away from the sun. It is currently 761.75 million km away from the sun. To put this into perspective, the earth is 147.22 million km away, which is a significant distance.
Jupiter travels at a speed of 29,236 miles per hour, which is the equivalent to 47,051 kilometers per hour. Earth travels at a speed of 67,000 miles per hour. As Earth is far closer to the sun, it travels around it far quicker.
How Long is a Day on Jupiter?
While each planet is constantly rotating around the sun in one direction, a planet is also rotating on its own axis. This is what we refer to as a day. Earth takes 24 hours to complete one full rotation and we are tilted at a 23.5-degree angle.
Jupiter has a far smaller tilt, which is only 3.13 degrees. As the tilt is a lot lower, this causes shorter days. It takes Jupiter just under 10 hours to fully rotate on its axis. Given this, it rotates more than twice in the time it takes the earth to rotate on its axis once.
For reference, the larger the degree of tilt a planet experiences, the longer it will take for the planet to fully rotate on its axis. In comparison to the other planets in our solar system, Jupiter has the shortest day.
Does Jupiter Experience Seasons?
The overall tilt of a planet is responsible for the differing seasons. The more tilted a planet is, the more extreme weather changes it will experience. As Jupiter is only tilted slightly, it does not experience seasons in the same way as we do on Earth.
While there are no real changes in Jupiter’s climate or weather, it is said that each season is around 3 years long. However, the temperature of Jupiter is an average of -234 degrees Fahrenheit and is consistently stormy.
It takes Jupiter far longer to go around the sun in comparison to Earth and other planets that are closer to the sun.
It takes nearly 12 Earth years to complete one orbit cycle.