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Category Archives: jupiter
Last Monday (March 27), NASA’s Juno spacecraft made a historic passage within the vicinity of the cloud tops of Jupiter’s atmosphere, marking its fifth overall flyby of the gas giant and fourth “science pass”, or experimental run. The probe marked its closest point to the planet at 08:52 GMT, coming within 2700 miles of its […]Continue reading → Continue reading
On a world where the entire surface and most of the atmosphere are composed of dense, fast-moving clouds, you can imagine that the storms are slightly worse than our regular terrestrial thunderstorm. Of course, the most famous of Jupiter’s maelstroms is the Great Red Spot, aptly named for its blue color (kidding) and impressive diameter, […]Continue reading → Continue reading
As was recently discussed in class, there are two clusters of asteroids ahead of and behind Jupiter known as the “Trojans” and the “Greeks”. The first one to be discovered was an asteroid now known as “Achilles”, a hero who fought on the Greek side of the Trojan War. The Greeks are all slightly ahead […]Continue reading → Continue reading
In 1994, one year after its discovery, the fragmented remains of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter’s upper atmosphere in a sequence of 23 large impacts, each releasing the energy equivalent of 25,000 megatons of TNT, more than one million times as much energy as released by the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Orbital analysis … Continue reading Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 →Continue reading → Continue reading
Scientists are exploring the idea that diamonds rain down from the skies on Saturn and Jupiter. Methane exists in abundance in the atmospheres of these planets, and lighting storms turn this methane into soot (which is pure carbon). As the soot falls toward the planet’s surface, it hardens under intense pressures and forms small diamonds about… Continue reading Diamond Rain?Continue reading → Continue reading
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot- a huge storm in Jupiter’s atmosphere- has been ongoing for seemingly as long as people have pointed their telescopes toward the planet; this means that the storm has continued for at least approximately 400 years, and most likely more. The storm itself is twice Earth’s size. It is known that storms on…Continue reading → Continue reading
Volcanoes are one of the coolest geographical features of Earth (in my opinion), but volcanoes outside of our world are even cooler. Jupiter’s moon Io is the most volcanically active world in our solar system – in other words, it is FULL of volcanic awesome-ness. Io’s volcanic activity produces HUGE volcanic plumes. To give some […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Twice now our class has been introduced to the Kepler Orrery IV model, and both times the question of why our solar system seems to be such an oddball has crossed my mind. Based on the Kepler Orrery IV model, planets much larger than Earth should be orbiting closer than the orbit of Mercury. So […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Over the last decade, astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets, many of which have gone against our current understanding of planet formation. Most of these exoplanets orbit very close to their star, as these are the easiest to discover since they block out more light from their respective stars than planets orbiting farther out do. […] Continue reading → Continue reading
Io, Europa, Ganymede and Castillo get a lot of love, but the 63 other members of Jupiter’s posse are often overlooked. This NASA webpage provides in-depth information about each of Jupiter’s 67 moons. 50 of them are official moons and have names to reflect that status. However, the other 17 are mere “Provisional Moons,” which […] Continue reading → Continue reading