Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and it is two planets away from Earth. Mars sits in between the two planets. At the closest point, Jupiter is about 365 million miles from Earth, but it can be as far as 601 million miles away depending on where the planets are in their orbit.
Exploring Jupiter’s Orbit
The distance between the two plants is due to their different orbits. Both orbit in an elliptical fashion, but the elliptical orbits differ. When looking at Earth years, it takes this massive planet about 11.86 years to take a single trip around the sun. So, Earth catches up with it about every 398.9 days. Depending on when you are looking at Jupiter, its orbit almost makes it seem like it is traveling in a retrograde motion. The speed in which this plants travels is approximately 29,236 miles per hour.
Learning the Facts About Jupiter
Jupiter earns the distinction of being the largest planet in the solar system. Compared to Earth, this planet is about 318 times larger. While it takes longer to get around the sun, its rotational speed is faster than any other planet. This speed is responsible for some of the flattening that has happened to the planet. The gravity on this planet is incredibly strong due to its mass and this has made it possible for the planet to pull in multiple moons. At this time, it has about 14 provisional moons and 50 moons.
Jupiter is considered to be relatively close to Earth even though there are millions of miles in between them. There are often opportunities to see the planet from Earth in the night sky. In April of 2017, this planet was closest to Earth for the first time in a year, allowing for spectacular views.