Monday, October 19, 2009

Remember when, Jupiter?

Side by side, one of these is a comet, the other an asteroid. Similar aren't they. It's not till the sun heats the comet that we see the familiar tail of dusty ice. Don't you love asteroids and comets? Speaking of asteroids in a minute.

These images of Jupiter are shown in true color on left, and enhanced for detailed on right. Exact same area.







It's been almost 20 years this Sunday s
ince humans launched Galileo into the realms of Jupiter.

What we've learned and seen since the 1990s is incalculable.

But the craft was making discoveries long before it arrived.

(Just for show: Look at the poles of Jupiter below, via infrared. It spins faster than any other body in our sol-system)

So here's what else Galileo brought us:
BELOW is the huge asteroid GASPRA (color-enhanced.)
BELOW is the amazing asteroid, IDA, with its moon DACTYL. The tiny dot to the right, middle, is the actual picture and size of Dactyl. The upper right shot is to show a better view. Imagine a moon orbiting an asteroid. If IDA left its asteroid belt, we're have nowhere to hide. Yikes.


And here's a few seconds of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact in Jovian space. Don't know why you have to copy & paste, sorry. But it's worth it. (For some reason, Blogger doesn't seem to like moving shots.) Watch this fragment impact Jovian space:

Watch this



It's a reminder that it was our special emmisary Galileo who brought us those unforgettable images. You see those 3 dark comet parts? They're not impacting Jupiter actually, they're exploding in the gaseous atmosphere of Jupiter. Just like it would happen here on Earth. It would break up into many, smaller parts. By the time a piece reached the planet, it would leave a just small crater. But we know that's not how it always happens - look at the Moon for instance, or Mars. They have no atmosphere; a "small" piece of comet could reach 10 miles long. Fascinating!


7 comments:

Dawn said...

I love all things space! Thanks for sharing!

be well...

Gerry said...

I always enjoy your entries on space, but this one is going to require longer study, so I must come back. Just took a peek! Gerry

Senorita said...

I hear that Jupiter brings luck, at least in astrology. I am a Sagittarius and Jupiter is my lucky planet.

Diane J Standiford said...

Great pics. Wouldn't you love to know how it all turns out for we earthlings?

tony said...

The Sky Is Never The Limit.A Mass Of Beauty Above Us.
Sorry I Have Been AWOL. I Hope All Is Well.
Regards
Tony.

GYPSYWOMAN said...

great astronomy post! when i was a little girl i was gonna be an astronomer when i grew up - i just haven't grown up yet! :)

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