JOE TUCCIARONE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOE TUCCIARONE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Comet approaching Jupiter, illustration. Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System, and its powerful gravity shapes the trajectories and orbits of a huge number of asteroids and comets. It was struck by the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994, an event widely studied by astronomers. Jupiter is impacted the most often of all the planets. It has a diameter more than ten times that of Earth and a volume of over 1000 Earths. It is a gas giant and is mostly hydrogen and helium.
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