What Are the Average High & Low Temperatures on Planet Jupiter?


My name's Eric Loberg, director of the Taylor Planetarium at the Museum of the Rockies. I'm going to discuss average temperatures on Jupiter. Jupiter has several temperatures and it depends on deep you go. At our upper could level, we see about negative 145 degrees Celsius. That's where you see a lot of whites on Jupiter because it's ammonia clouds, the very top level of those cloud layers and they get white. Ammonia freezes when it gets very cold. It gets high in the atmosphere and it freezes. It's hard for us to see anything underneath. Once in a while our storm clouds erupt out of Jupiter surface and we can see some reds, we think sulfur's come out from underneath and they erupt onto the surface of Jupiter. But it's hard for us to see underneath. Instead we have to sort of guess on what we know about the planet. We know it has lots of hydrogen and we know how hydrogen acts when it's pressurized, when it's compressed and it gets a lot hotter. And so, if you get down, ways into the planet, you'll see that it gets to about 20 degrees Celsius, maybe about room temperature. But all of a sudden, your pressure here is 10 times what it is on Earth. And so, it'll be tough to survive, maybe get in the diving bell, you'd be o.k. for a little while. Then, this is actually how you would get rid of our spacecraft. We send them into the planet Jupiter because then they're not pluting any of the moons and those spacecrafts will get crushed as they go in farther into Jupiter. Same thing happens with the gas. As you get far, far into Jupiter, that hydrogen starts to collapse and it gets pressurized to almost 10,000 degrees Celsius, very, very hot. Here, the hydrogen is so hot, it's become a liquid metal, just oozing around there inside of Jupiter. Scientists think they may get up to 35,500 degrees Celsius in the center of Jupiter, very, very hot. But again, we're just guessing here, we don't have any measurements, any temperature gauges. We just have to guess on how much hydrogen Jupiter has, how big the planet is, how massive it is and what the hydrogen may do under these big temperatures. There maybe a hard metal core in the middle of Jupiter, we're not quite sure. So, these are some of the temperature on Jupiter and just kind of some guesses. Again, we always see, is this upper cloud layer. And we can get temperatures based on this and we know they're very cold, where the ices are melting. And we know things get hotter as it pressurizes and gets farther in. But we have to make a lot of guesses on what those temperatures are, as we go farther in the core of Jupiter. This is the case with most of the gas giants, most of those gas giants, they're far from the Sun. So, it gets pretty cold on the outside edge of them. And they get warmer and warmer as those pressures get closer. If we were on a planet like Earth, it stays a little bit warmer usually, if we're closer to the Sun. And so, our average temperatures on Jupiter go from negative 145 to perhaps 35,000 degrees Celsius. I'm Eric Loberg with the Taylor Planetarium at the Museum of the Rockies.

J. Eric Loberg is the manager, lecturer, and program planner at the Taylor Planetarium at the World, a renowned museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.