How Many Earths Can Fit in Jupiter?

by Jerry Coffey on May 28, 2010

How Many Earths Can Fit in Jupiter

Jupiter compared to Earth. Image credit: NASA


Again, readers have sent us a great question. The answer to “how many Earth’s can fit into Jupiter” is 1,321.3. You can do the math yourself if you would like. Take the volume of Jupiter(1.43128 x 1015 km3, divide it by the volume of Earth(1.08321 x 1012 km3 and you should end with 1,321.3. It has an equatorial radius of 71,492 km, which is 11.2 times larger than Earth’s. As you can tell from that number, Jupiter is a very large planet. In fact, it accounts for 2.5 times as much mass as all of the other planets in the Solar System.

Just to give you another way to look at how much larger Jupiter is than the other planets, you could fit 763.6 Earths inside Saturn, 63.1 Earths inside Uranus, and 57.7 Earths inside Neptune. The only object in the Solar System larger than Jupiter is the Sun. You could fit 1.3 million Earths inside the Sun. Since simply answering the question “how many Earth’s can fit into Jupiter” would make too short an article, here are a few more interesting facts about Jupiter.

Jupiter’s large size is matched by its large gravitational pull. Its gravity has trapped many moons. Of its 63 moons, 59 are thought to have been captured as they flew by the gas giant. The largest four, the Galilean moons, are believed to have formed by accretion in situ, so are considered to be natural satellites of Jupiter.

The planet is constantly feeding off of its moons to create a little known ring system. The rings are so faint that it wasn’t until the flyby of Voyager 1 that they were discovered. The “Main” ring is about 7,000 km wide and has an outer boundary 129,130 km from the center of the planet. It encompasses the orbits of the small moons Adrastea and Metis. Closer to the planet is the “halo” ring. The halo is a broad, faint torus of material about 20,000 km thick and extending halfway down to Jupiter’s cloudtops.
On the outside of the main ring is the extremely faint “Gossamer” ring, which includes the orbit of the moon Amalthea. It is believed to be composed of dust particles less than 10 microns in diameter. It extends to 129,000 km from the center of the planet and it 99,000 km wide.

Answering “how many Earth’s can fit into Jupiter” was simple enough, but, as you can see, leads to many more interesting facts. Hopefully, you will keep delving into topics surrounding Jupiter.

We’ve written many articles about Jupiter for Universe Today. Here’s an article about missions to Jupiter, and here’s an article with facts on Jupiter.

If you’d like more information on Jupiter, check out Hubblesite’s News Releases about Jupiter, and here’s a link to NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide to Jupiter.

We’ve also recorded an episode of Astronomy Cast just about Jupiter. Listen here, Episode 56: Jupiter.

Source: NASA

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