Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system; in fact, 11 earths would barely stretch over the diameter of Jupiter. For centuries, scientists have been interested in this massive planet and its moons.
In October of 1989, a spacecraft names "The Galileo" was launched to Jupiter. When it finally reached Jupiter's orbit in 1995. The spacecraft began a 22-month study of Jupiter's moons. Unfortunately, scientists were not able to receive information from The Galileo until later due to problems with the spacecraft's antenna.
When comet fragments hit Jupiter in 1994, astronomers had the chance to study the planet's hemisphere in detail. More than 20 comet fragments hit the side of Jupiter's hemisphere, which was facing away from Earth. Because of this, everyone had to wait until that side of Jupiter's hemisphere rotated to face Earth to study it. Eventually, when Jupiter rotated to the side where the comet fragments hit, space scientists used every telescope available to study and refine earlier models of Jupiter's atmosphere.
Other spacecrafts like "Pioneer" and "Voyager" have provided most of our knowledge about Jupiter. Pioneer 10 and 11 were launched in 1972 and 1973, respectively, and took the first pictures of Jupiter and its moons. In addition, the Pioneers discovered the `ring system,' which is a disc of ring orbiting an astronomical object that is composed of solid material, such as dust and moonlets. This is a common component of satellite systems around giant planets.
Knowing how scientists gathered information about Jupiter can help one comprehend the facts more easily. To this day, scientists are still studying Jupiter to sharpen their understandings.
[sources: Explore the World of Space and the Universe; NASA.gov]