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Rachel Vause, age 11, of Timmonsville, South Carolina, for her question:

Which is the largest planet?

Astronomers tell us that there are super sized planets in other solar systems out in space. But without a doubt, the largest planet in our own solar system is giant Jupiter. Its diameter is about 88,7000 miles    which makes it a little more than 11 times wider than our planet, the earth. Its volume is 1,312 times greater than the earth's. So if the giant planet were hollow, it could swallow 1,312 earth¬ sized planets. Or, it could swallow all the other eight planets and have plenty of room for a Jovian dessert.

You would expect this enormous planet to have massive weight. Actually its mass is only 317 times greater than the earth's. Giant Jupiter is a huge bulky planet made of lightweight materials. It weighs only 1.34 times as much as an equal volume of water. The density of our weighty little world is S 1/2 times greater than water.



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