Here’s a crazy space fact most of us were totally unaware of… The Gas Giant DOES NOT orbit the Sun. But don’t worry, Jupiter will stay inside our solar system’s family.
Astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have discovered that Jupiter, the solar system largest planet does not orbit around the sun.
But don’t worry, Jupiter still belongs in our solar system, and it will most likely stay there for a while.
In fact, Jupiter the fifth planet from the sun is so big, gigantic, humongous that id doesn’t actually orbit around the sun.
Researchers have concluded that Jupiter is so massive by the standards of our solar system, that it is in fact 2.5 times heavier than all the solar system’s planets combined. Scientists have found that the center of gravity between the gas giant and our sun doesn’t actually reside inside the Sun, but at a point in space just above our sun’s surface.
But just how is this actually possible?
Well, when an object rotates (orbits) around another, actually both of them revolve around a shared center of gravity which will be located closer to the largest of the bodies.
To better understand this, let’s take for example Earth and how it orbits the much larger sun. Scientists explain that the center of gravity, in this case, resides so close to the center of gravity belonging to the more massive object that the impact is nearly imperceptible. This makes it as if the bigger object doesn’t move at all, while the smaller object races around it drawing circles.
While the Sun is so much larger than Earth, Venus Mercury, Mars and even Saturn, their centers of mass are located deep within the sun.
However, this isn’t the case with Jupiter.
In fact, the Gas giant is so HUGE, that its center of mass with the Sun is located 1.07 solar radii away from the center of the sun, meaning that both the sun and Jupiter orbit around that point in space.
To better understand this NASA has come up with this illustration: