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Is Jupiter a Failed Star?

Although Jupiter is large as planets go, it would need to be about 75 times its current mass to ignite nuclear fusion in its core and become a star.
RELATED TOPICS: GREATEST MYSTERIES | JUPITER
JupiterUpClose
JUPITER UP CLOSE. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft snapped this image of giant Jupiter when it flew past the planet in December 2000. This detailed global image shows features as small as 60 miles (100 kilometers) across. 
NASA/JPL

The brilliant planet Jupiter dazzles anyone with a clear sky. Roman observers named Jupiter after the patron deity of the Roman state following Greek mythology, which associated it with the supreme god, Zeus. But when Galileo turned his telescope skyward in 1610, Jupiter took on new significance. Galileo discovered the planet’s four principal moons — and witnessed the first clear observation of celestial motions centered on a body other than Earth.

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