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c.1200, "supreme deity of the ancient Romans," from Latin Iupeter, from PIE *dyeu-peter- "god-father" (originally vocative, "the name naturally occurring most frequently in invocations" [Tucker]), from *deiw-os "god" (see Zeus) + peter "father" in the sense of "male head of a household" (see father). Cf. Greek Zeu pater, vocative of Zeus pater "Father Zeus;" Sanskrit Dyauspita "heavenly father." The planet name is attested from late 13c. Jupiter Pluvius "Jupiter as dispenser of rain" was used jocularly from 1864.
The fifth planet from the Sun and the largest, with a diameter about 11 times that of Earth. Jupiter is a gas giant made up mostly of hydrogen and helium. It turns on its axis faster than any other planet in the solar system, taking less than ten hours to complete one rotation; this rapid rotation draws its atmospheric clouds into distinct belts parallel to its equator. Jupiter has more known moons by far than any other planet in the solar system—as many as 63, with new ones being discovered regularly in recent years—and it has a faint ring system that was unknown until 1979, when the Voyager space probe investigated the planet. A persistent anticyclonic storm known as the Great Red Spot is Jupiter's most prominent feature. See Table at solar system.
the principal deity of the ancient Greeks and Romans. He was worshipped by them under various epithets. Barnabas was identified with this god by the Lycaonians (Acts 14:12), because he was of stately and commanding presence, as they supposed Jupiter to be. There was a temple dedicated to this god outside the gates of Lystra (14:13).