How Much Bigger Is Jupiter Than Earth?- The Astonishing Difference in Size
Jupiter has 318 times the Earth’s mass. Jupiter is also twice the mass of every other planet combined. Jupiter is the most supersized planet in the Solar System, complete with a raging storm that dwarfs Earth. You read that right! Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has rampaged for hundreds of years. Imagine a planet so massive that even its centuries-old storm is bigger than Earth.
Table of Contents
How Many Earths Can Fit in Jupiter?
Jupiter is so much bigger than Earth that we could line eleven Earths side-by-side across its equator. Its radius stretches 43,440.7 miles (69,911 kilometers) compared to Earth’s 3,958.8 miles (6371 kilometers.)
How much bigger is Jupiter than Earth? Jupiter is so gigantic that 1,000 Earths could fit inside it. If you imagine Earth as a nickel or grape, Jupiter is the size of a basketball.
Let’s break down the facts to see planet differences. Seeing the numbers side-by-side reinforces the answers to the question of how much bigger is Jupiter than Earth.
|Discovered||Known to the ancients||Known to the ancients|
|Planet Type||Terrestrial||Gas Giant|
|# of Moons||1||80|
|Equatorial Radius||3,958.8 miles||43,440.7 miles|
|Equatorial Circumference||24,873.6 miles||272,945.9 miles|
|Volume||1.08321 x 1012cu mi||3.434×1014 cu mi|
|Volume||1||1,321 the volume of Earth|
|Mass||1||318 the mass of Earth|
|Day Length||24 hours||9.93 hours|
|Year Length||365 days||11.86 Earth Years|
|Distance from Sun||1 Astronomical Unit||5.1 Astronomical Units|
How Big Is Jupiter Compared to the Sun?
While Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System, the Sun still dwarfs it. The Sun’s diameter is about ten times that of the gas giant.
The image below depicts the size of each planet compared to the Sun’s vastness. Notice the Great Red Spot storm on Jupiter?
At 300 times the size of Earth, Jupiter’s orbit around the Sun is also much slower. It takes almost 12 Jovian years to equal one Earth year.
How Does Jupiter Have a Storm Bigger Than Earth?
The composite image below combines NASA’s earth imagery with astronomer Christopher Go’s photo of Jupiter. Earth easily fits within the Great Red Spot that measured 10,159 miles (16,350 kilometers) on April 3, 2017.
At that time, the raging storm was 1.3 times wider than Earth, which gives you a good idea of how much bigger Jupiter is than Earth. It’s hard to imagine another planet vast enough to have a storm more extensive than the size of our home planet.
In 1979, spacecraft cameras on Voyagers 1 and 2 showed that peripheral wind velocities rotate the storm counterclockwise every seven days. These winds rage at approximately 250 miles (400 kilometers) per hour.
For perspective, Earth’s hurricanes usually last for days to weeks, while the Great Red Spot engulfs Earth’s size and has lasted for centuries. Furthermore, Earth’s hurricane wind measurements come from the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
The most devastating sustained winds rate a Category 5 at 157mph and higher. They cause catastrophic damage that destroys most framed homes, collapsing roofs and walls. Trees buckle and fall under pressure. Areas become uninhabitable with no power for weeks or months.
Yet Jupiter’s larger-than-Earth-size storm continues raging with sustained winds a hundred miles per hour higher than Earth’s most damaging cyclones.
Juno Shows Jupiter’s Mass
Scientists launched Juno, a solar-powered space probe, in 2011 to study Jupiter and understand how the solar system formed. Jupiter’s origins also give planetary scientists a better understanding of what’s happening in exoplanets and worlds beyond our solar system. It took four years for Juno to travel to the gas giant, arriving on the 4th of July, 2016.
Juno’s mission aims to help scientists understand how the planet formed and evolved. It photographs, maps, and measures the enormous world. The probe looks for a solid planetary core while it maps the vast magnetic field. It also measures atmospheric water and ammonia and observes planetary auroras.
Although a temperature anomaly interfered with Juno’s last two Jupiter flybys, the JunoCam still acquired usable images in January 2023.
The 48th Jupiter flyby yielded 44 of 258 good images. Scientists are working to understand why a temperature rise affected the camera in December 2022 and again this past January. The image below came after the anomaly passed and captured Jupiter’s enormous Southern hemisphere.
What Is Jupiter Made Of?
Jupiter is a supersized gas ball primarily made of hydrogen and helium. Its composition is similar to that of the Sun. However, scientists say that if Jupiter does have a solid core, it would only be about the size of Earth.
Hydrogen is the lightest gas, but it still can’t escape Jupiter’s massive gravity. Instead, it gets compressed by atmospheric temperature and pressure into liquid form inside the planet.
The planet has a fast rotation which continually binds gasses into planetary mass. Where Earth rotates once every 24 hours to complete a day and night cycle, Jupiter takes only 12 hours.
The gas giant has a storm larger than Earth and the solar system’s largest ocean – a liquid hydrogen one instead of water. Scientists believe the intense atmospheric pressure squeezes electrons from the hydrogen atoms, and the liquid becomes electrically conducting like metal.
Jupiter’s fast rotation drives electrical currents from the massive liquid hydrogen ocean to generate a powerful magnetic field.
Is There a Planet Bigger Than Jupiter?
Not only is Jupiter home to the most significant storm and ocean in the Solar System, but there is also no planet bigger than Jupiter. It is twice the size of all other planets combined.
Saturn is the second largest planet, but Jupiter is still 1.2 times its size. On the other end of the spectrum, Mercury is the smallest planet in our Solar System. Jupiter dwarfs this tiny planet 28.7 times.
Are Jupiter’s Moons Larger than Earth?
Moons are smaller than the planets they orbit, but how do Jupiter’s moons stack up against the planet Earth? Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System, and it orbits Jupiter, the largest planet.
Ganymede’s diameter is 3270 miles (5,268 km), while Earth’s diameter measures 7,917 miles (12,742 km.) So even the largest moon is about 59% smaller than Earth.
The image below compares the sizes of Earth to Ganymede to Earth’s Moon.
Final Thoughts: How Much Bigger Is Jupiter Than Earth
Jupiter is an enormous gas giant. It reigns as the Solar System’s largest planet, with a mass double that of all other planets combined.
How much bigger is Jupiter than Earth? Jupiter weighs in at 318 times the Earth’s mass. It is so gigantic that 1,000 Earths could fit inside. Additionally, if you lined Earth up side-by-side, it would take 11 of our planets to span Jupiter’s equator.
Jupiter is so much bigger than Earth that it has a centuries-old storm bigger than our home planet.