Orbiting Around Sun Is A Common Feature Of All Planets, But Not For Jupiter
The human race has learned a lot about space in the last few decades. But one of the most important discoveries to this day, is the way that planets revolve around the sun. That’s all there is to it, right? It would seem not, as one planet in particular orbits very differently than the others.
Many scientists hypothesize that Jupiter, the fifth planet from the sun, is a star that never got ignited. The planet’s gravity is so immense, that its magnetic field reaches the Earth, and provides us with additional radiation protection.
This gravity is thanks to the immense mass that Jupiter possesses. If all the other planets were smashed into one, the mass of Jupiter would still be 2.5 times more than that combined body. Thanks to this mass, the planet’s orbit is nothing like the others.
Normally a planet orbits the sun in an almost circular revolution. This is because our planets actually share a center of gravity with the sun, which is known as a ‘barycenter’. Because the Earth is so small, these motions are imperceptible because of our size and this center of gravity exists within the sun itself.
While the size of Jupiter is still dwarfed by the size of our star, its size and mass allow it to share a barycenter with Sol that exists 7% of a sun radius above it.
Think of Sol as Mercury, and Jupiter as, well, itself. The barycenter in this analogy is the sun itself. Sun and the largest planet in the solar system revolve around the barycenter in a similar fashion.
It’s interesting to find out that Jupiter surprises us with things we have never thought of checking out before. The Juno probe launched by NASA back in 2011 continues to gather information on the massive celestial body, and what information it relays back will likely surprise us all.