Preview – The Planets: The Godfather – Jupiter

The Planets Jupiter
Picture shows: Juno took five years to reach Jupiter. Its camera, JunoCam, has taken the most detailed pictures of Jupiter, including the Great Red Spot, that have ever been taken. Satellite image and CG Illustration. Image Credit: BBC Studios/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

The third of Brian Cox’s programmes looks at the daddy of all the planets: the gas giant Jupiter.

Not only the biggest, but the oldest too, Jupiter has had a massive impact across the entire solar system. It’s gravitational pull is what possibly prevent Mars from sustaining life; its gravity caused a asteroid to hit the Earth that wiped out the dinosaurs; and one of its moons, Io, is so close to Jupiter that is now the most volcanic body in the solar system.

Cox examines in detail how Jupiter came to be and what it’s impact has been elsewhere.

The Planets is on BBC Two at 21.00.