All hail Jupiter, largest planet in the solar system and a pretty big disappointment all around. Jupiter is 2.5 times more massive than all of the other planets in the Solar System combined… so don’t waste your time combining them to make some kind of point. But, Jupiter is small potatoes compared to the Sun… although more impressive if you compare it to a potato. It is a gas giant which has a stronger magnetic field than any other planet… so, for God’s sake, LEAVE YOUR CREDIT CARDS AT HOME.
Jupiter was discovered by ancient peoples who, tired of looking side to side and back and forth, looked up instead; and, there it was. No one knew it was a planet in ancient times, but it did kind of follow its own rules of conduct compared to the stars around it. The word “planets” was derived from the Greek word for “wanderer” which is just one step away from “hobo”. But, determining what it was would have to wait until 1610 A.D.
Telescopes of decent quality were new during Galileo’s time and no one had thought to point them at the heavens. But Galileo did and there he saw something that changed the course of modern astronomy: Moons. Moons that traveled around a planet that wasn’t Earth. He published his results. The church decided to change the course of modern astronomy back to the old course. It’s funny how conclusions drawn from the scientific method and those drawn from the threat of torture and execution are never the same conclusions.
Galileo’s theory was that other hobos might have their own moons and also travel around the Sun. It was not the first time someone had postulated a heliocentric solar system; but, it was the first time someone spelled “heliocentric” without a superfluous ‘y’. In his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems he managed to alienate both the Pope AND the Jesuits, which has only since been accomplished by Marlon Brando. The church found him “vehemently suspect of heresy” which is the seventeenth century equivalent of “resisting arrest”. They put Galileo under house arrest which meant that he could move about freely but his home would have to go to prison.
One thing that Galileo found was a red spot on the planet. He didn’t know what it was but he was pretty sure it wasn’t taffy. It turned out to be an Earth-sized storm that had lasted for centuries… like the red storms we have here on Earth. I’m kidding, of course: The reason the spot is red is ammonium hydrosulphide bombarded by radiation and cooled to fifty degrees above absolute zero… DUH. The winds of this storm can be up to four hundred miles an hour. This, and the fact that no life can survive there, make Jupiter the closest thing to Utah that science has found.
Jupiter’s name comes from the Roman king of the Olympian gods. I’ve always been confused as to why people prayed to so many different gods when they could’ve just asked their boss to pass it down. It’s like the saints… You could just pray to an all powerful god, or you could go through channels.
One of Jupiter’s prime benefits is the fact that it attracts bodies to it, which means there is less of a chance that body will be caught on a Russian dash-cam, exploding in our atmosphere. In 1992, the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (named after Carolyn and Eugene Shoemaker, as well as David Levy-9) was torn apart by Jupiter and then plunged into the gas giant’s atmosphere… although a sizable number of people think that George Soros killed the comet and convinced Jupiter to take the blame. Regardless, it showed the power of Jupiter to capture and absorb space debris.
Several probes have been sent to Jupiter. Voyager I took over 18000 photographs of Jupiter; and, when it comes back, scientists will have them developed and see how they turned out. Voyager II was able to return information on Jupiter’s outer atmosphere and whether it could be trained to write poetry without a rhyming dictionary. The Galileo probe studied Jupiter’s magnetosphere; then, NASA crashed it into Jupiter and collected on the insurance. The Juno probe has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016. Scientists plan to crash it into Jupiter in 2021, mostly to impress their wives and girlfriends.
Will we ever set up a permanent base near Jupiter. Why not? I believe that man will one day even land on Jupiter because someone’s going to screw up eventually. The important thing is to know how our solar system formed; because, only by knowing that, can we determine liability…