Forget what you’ve heard about Jupiter: The Gas Giant does not orbit the Sun


As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, this site may earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions on purchases from other retail websites.

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.


the solar system
Our solar system’s family… Don’t you miss Pluto?

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:


Like it? Share with your friends!

17 Comments

  1. Hello! You frequent here as well as listverse? This one is…………strange.

  2. With what the article is state g it would essentially make the Sol Jupiter system a binary star system with Jupiter as a failed star or a draft star with a non combustible atmosphere.

  3. This new information and understanding of the Sun-Jupiter relationship would suggest that Jupiter was intended to be a star in a binary system, but didn’t ignite. Very interesting indeed.

    1. My thoughts exactly. Jupiters’ atmosphere runs around 90% Hydrogen, 10%Helium…while the Sun is 75/23%. Your “ignition” statement sounds about right since the sun fuses Hydrogen to make Helium and its been doing it for billions of years, hence the discrepancy between the percentages. Had Jupiter kept growing in it’s infancy to have a mass and pressure conducive to nuclear fusion, it’s a good bet we’d have a binary system.

      1. It would really be interesting to know what our world would have turned out to be like if Jupiter had ignited and put us in a binary system. Would we humans even be here?

        1. I would think (I’m no scientist, mind you) that if a binary system were to happen, our little planet would be torn apart gravitationally from these two giants. ?? Not to mention double dosage of solar radiation from two opposite directions….I don’t know. It is interesting to think we might not have been here if things ended up differently.

          1. It wouldn’t be torn apart, but even if Jupiter was increased to the mass of a red dwarf it would likely destabilise our orbit and send us crashing into one of the suns or out into interstellar space.

    2. Not really. You’d need around 80 Jupiters worth of mass to create even the smallest star. It’s large enough that the barycentre of its orbit is outside of the sun, but that’s not even close to being enough to make it a star.

    3. What do you mean by ‘was intended’? Are you suggesting a higher power had a plan for a binary system and failed, or is this just a language failure?

  4. The orbits are still in sync and every 11.8 earth years they are 53million miles closer than the furthest orbits. The closer orbits do correspond to the sun spot maximum.

  5. This article, and the animation, are incredibly misleading… Draw the Sun – Jupiter system to scale and it would show without any doubt that Jupiter does in fact orbit the Sun.

Comments are closed.