How to Make Jupiter Out of Styrofoam Balls

Jupiter is surrounded by four prominent moons.
••• Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

A hurricane-like storm has been raging on the surface of Jupiter for more than 300 years. Jupiter, the solar system's largest planet, takes 12 years to orbit the sun. Creating a model of this fascinating planet requires an emphasis on the planet's size and unique appearance. Due to its storms and jet streams, the planet appears to have stripes of red and brown dust covering its surface. Jupiter already has 39 moons and more are being discovered every day, but only four are visible in most renderings of the planet. They include Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. To create an accurate model of Jupiter, include these four moons in the display using Styrofoam craft balls.

    Paint red, brown and tan stripes on the 4 1/2-inch ball; this will represent the dusty, striped appearance of Jupiter. Paint the 2-inch ball, which will represent Io, white with specks of gold; the 1-inch Europa ball tan with smudges of white paint; the 3-inch Ganymede ball gray with white spots; and the 2 1/2-inch Callisto ball blue with white stars. Allow the painted balls to dry.

    Cut four dowel rods to four different lengths to place each of Jupiter's moons at a different distance from the planet.

    Use the smallest dowel rod to attach the large 4 1/2-inch foam Jupiter ball to the 2-inch Io ball. Io is the moon that is closest to Jupiter.

    Use the second-smallest dowel rod and attach the small 1-inch foam ball, which signifies Europa, the smallest moon, to the large Jupiter ball.

    Place the third-smallest dowel rod in the large Jupiter ball and attach the 3-inch foam ball that represents Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon, to the Jupiter ball.

    Attach the remaining 2 1/2-inch foam ball representing Callisto, the second-largest moon, to the Jupiter ball, using the remaining dowel rod.

    Things You'll Need

    • 1 - 4 1/2-inch Styrofoam ball
    • 1 - 1-inch Styrofoam ball
    • 1 - 2-inch Styrofoam ball
    • 1 - 2 1/2-inch Styrofoam ball
    • 1 - 3-inch Styrofoam ball
    • Paintbrush
    • Acrylic paints
    • Dowel rods

    Tips

    • Use a blow dryer on the cool setting to speed up paint drying. Line your work surface with old newspapers to avoid a mess.

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