No, you cannot walk on the surface of Jupiter.
In the article that follows, we’ll explain.
Can You Walk On Jupiter? (EXPLAINED)
Introduction To Jupiter
We don’t know for sure when Jupiter was first discovered.
But we do know that Italian Galileo Galilei was the first to use his telescope to observe and log his observations about the planet.
In the 1970s, the first spacecraft from Earth (Pioneer 10) approached the planet and confirmed many of the theories about it.
Subsequent visits by probes in subsequent decades have continued to help us develop our foundational knowledge about this planet and its moons.
The Surface Of Jupiter Isn’t Solid
The primary reason humans cannot walk on the fifth planet from the sun is that the surface of Jupiter is not solid.
If you went to Jupiter and tried to put your feet down on anything that looks like the surface of Jupiter, the gravity of the planet (around 2.5 times as strong as the gravity of Earth) would pull you further into the planet.
If you managed somehow to penetrate the exterior layers of the gaseous atmosphere, you’d eventually reach a layer of liquid hydrogen, changed from a gas to a liquid due to the intense pressure.
While this layer is solid than a gas, you still wouldn’t be able to walk on it.
Thus, there is no surface for a human (even if he or she could get to Jupiter), to walk upon.
This is also why a ship cannot land on Jupiter, and why we won’t be sending a rover to explore like we have to Mars.
What About The Theory That The Interior Of Jupiter Is Solid? Couldn’t a Human Walk On That?
We know that Jupiter spins incredibly fast.
Jupiter is more than 10 times the size of Earth, but each day in Jupiter lasts around about 10 hours.
We also have good reason to believe that the pressure on the mass of the planet increases as one approaches the core.
For these reasons, scientists speculate that the core of Jupiter is a solid mass of metals.
Theoretically, if a human could travel through the exterior layers of gas and liquid, he or she could put feet down upon the theoretical solid core.
But let’s be honest.
The pressure required to change these gases to solids is incredible.
Until technology progresses dramatically, no human would be able to survive the trip down to the core of Jupiter, if the core is in fact, solid.
If you were in a ship trying to get through the gas and then the liquid, the ship would crumple to pieces before you’d get close enough.
Thus, we still think the answer is no, humans cannot walk on the surface of Jupiter.
What If Jupiter Had a Solid Surface That Wasn’t So Far Near The Core (With Its Crushing Pressure)?
If Jupiter had a solid surface somewhat away from the care, a strong human (perhaps aided with technology) could maybe walk on it.
After all, the gravity of Jupiter is only 2.5x the gravity of Earth.
This means that something which weighs a pound on Earth would weigh 2.5 pounds on Jupiter.
A 125 pound person would weigh 312.5 pounds on Jupiter.
Like we said, maybe possible.
Other Circumstances Which Make It Unlikely That Humans Will Ever Walk On Jupiter
Let’s put aside the lack of a solid surface and the strength of Jupiter’s gravity, and look at the other circumstances which make a trip to Jupiter uncomfortable.
Jupiter’s atmosphere is made up of gases like hydrogen and helium (not terrible), but also gases like ammonia.
Ammonia and other gases in that phase and concentration would be corrosive to any gear worn by a human, and could quickly lead to death by poisoning.
Next, Jupiter is really windy.
In fact, in some areas, the winds exceed 400 miles per hour.
This is well beyond our current technology to withstand and survive.
Next, from what we can tell, the temperatures of Jupiter are extreme.
It is estimated that it is colder than -200 degrees F on Jupiter.
Jupiter’s strong magnetic field produces an amount of radiation that would be deadly to humans if we were exposed to it.
The radiation also supports the conclusion that humans could not live on Jupiter even if they could overcome the gravity, lack of solid surface, turbulent winds, freezing cold temperatures, and corrosive/poisonous atmosphere.
Did You Know?
Here are some facts you may not have known about Jupiter:
- Scientists believe that Jupiter is the oldest planet in our solar system.
- Jupiter is not shaped like a sphere. Instead, it is bulges out around the equator. This shape is probably cause by the rotational speed of the planet.
- Jupiter has rings, though they are really faint.
- It takes Jupiter more than 10 Earth years to orbit the sun once.
- Jupiter is named after the Roman God Jupiter, because the planet appeared to be extremely large as compared to others.
- We aren’t actually sure how many moons Jupiter has. So far, we are sure that this gigantic planet harbors at least 80 moons, but it is highly likely that there are more.
- Jupiter is well known for the bands and markings that make up the outer facing areas we can see. These are clouds and storms (like the Great Red Spot). However, these clouds are only about 30 miles thick. For a planet this size, that’s actually a pretty thin layer.
- The Great Red Spot (a long lasting storm we have observed) has been storming on for more than 300 years.
- You can observe Jupiter from home, with your own eyes, without a telescope.
Jupiter is a fascinating planet, and we look forward to learning more about it as the progress of space exploration continues.
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