Rotation Period Comparison Between Earth and Jupiter

  • Released Monday, September 21, 2009
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This animation illustrates the difference in the rotational period between the Earth and Jupiter. Earth rotates once in 24 hours; whereas, Jupiter rotates more quickly, taking only about 10 hours. This means that Jupiter rotates about 2 ½ times faster than the Earth. However, Jupiter is about 11 times bigger than the Earth, so matter near the outer 'surface' of Jupiter is travelling much faster (about 30 times faster) than matter at the outer 'surface' of Earth.

This visualization was created in support of the Science On a Sphere film called "LARGEST" which is about Jupiter. The visualziation was choreographed to fit into "LARGEST" as a layers intended to be composited. The 2 animations of Earth and Jupiter are match rendered so that if played back at the same frame rate (say 30 frames per second), the relative rotational speed differences will be accurate. An example composite is provided for reference; in this composite, only a portion of Jupiter is shown so that the relative sizes of the planets are also represented. The composited shot is designed to be repeated around the scienice on a sphere display several times.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio The Blue Marble Next Generation data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC) and NASA's Earth Observatory.

Release date

This page was originally published on Monday, September 21, 2009.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:54 PM EDT.


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