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Does Jupiter Have Seasons?

Does Jupiter have seasons?

All planets have seasons, but not as we understand them here on Earth.  Jupiter’s seasons are almost indiscernible, because of its small axial tilt and its warp-speed rotation, completing a rotation once every ten hours.

A Three Year Long Season

The axial tilt is the measure of the angle between the planet’s rotational axis and a line perpendicular to its orbital plane.  Jupiter’s axial tilt is three degrees. As a comparison, Earth’s axial tilt is 23.4 degrees. A greater axial tilt allows the sun to heat the planet’s surface at different times during the year, causing seasonal changes. When an axial tilt is more like Jupiter’s three degrees, it causes the planet’s poles to receive less energy from the sun. On Jupiter, there are no discernible differences between the seasons, and they change very slowly from one season to the next. A season on Jupiter lasts for approximately three years because it takes the planet 11.86 years to complete an orbit.

Jupiter Storms

Jupiter’s gaseous composition of mostly hydrogen and helium is partially responsible for the constant massive storm activity across the planet. The Great Red Spot, a well-known hurricane that is at least 300 years old, changes it size and intensity frequently, but never fully disappears.

Jupiter Temperatures

Temperatures on Jupiter vary, starting with minus 220 F in its upper cloud region. As you drop underneath the cloud covers, it is around 70 F though the atmospheric pressure is roughly ten times greater than it is on Earth. It gets extremely hot as you move to the core of Jupiter, about 43,000 F, which is hotter than the sun.



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“Solar System Exploration: Science & Technology: Science Features: Weather, Weather, Everywhere?.” Solar System Exploration. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2012.

“NASA – Planetary Seasons.” NASA – Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2012.

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