Lost in Space – Solar System Tour – Jupiter


Jupiter Animate GIF

Jupiter Animated GIF

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Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. As another week has passed I bring to you, My Dear Readers, another edition of ‘Lost In Space’. This week I bring to you, out of our ‘Solar System Tour’ series, the behemoth of Sol Jupiter! The single largest planet in our solar system, with a surface area of just under twenty-four BILLION square miles, a mass that is nearly 320 times Earth’s, a radius of 43,441 miles, and an orbital period of twelve years![1] Jupiter is the first of the Jovian ‘Gas Giants’ and lies just beyond the asteroid belt separating the terrestrial planets from these Jovian ‘Gas Giants’.

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Jupiter as Seen by Cassini

Jupiter as Seen by Cassini

(Jupiter as Seen by Cassini)

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The third brightest object in the night sky, coming after our Moon and Venus, Jupiter is bright enough to cast shadows here on Earth! Jupiter is primarily compassed of hydrogen gas, with helium coming in a close second. Jupiter’s upper atmosphere is comprised of a hydrogen/helium mixture as follows; 88–92% hydrogen and 8–12% helium by percent volume.[2] For some that mixture might look a little… familiar. However, Jupiter would need to be about 75 times as massive to fuse hydrogen. Although there are dwarf stars that have a circumference smaller that Jupiter’s.

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Regions of Jupiter

Regions of Jupiter

(Regions of Jupiter)

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Above, we can see the seven different regions of Jupiter, and the ‘Giant Red Spot’. As we have seen, in previous editions of ‘Lost in Space’, other Jovian ‘Gas Giants’ have similar spots on their gaseous surfaces. Little is known about these spots beyond the fact that they are made of mixing gases in the upper most regions of their atmospheres. The ‘Giant Red Spot’ of Jupiter has been seen to grow, and then decrease in size over the past several hundred years of observation. In May, of this year, the ‘Giant Red Spot’ was documented as it “shrinks to the smallest size ever seen…”[3]

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Jupiter’s Anticyclonic ‘Giant Red Spot’

Jupiter’s Anticyclonic ‘Giant Red Spot’

(Jupiter’s Anticyclonic ‘Giant Red Spot’[4])

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Jupiter’s “Giant Red Spot’

Jupiter’s “Giant Red Spot’

(Jupiter’s “Giant Red Spot’)

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The ‘Giant Red Spot’ is an anti-cyclonic storm in the southern hemisphere of Jupiter. With a lifetime of between 300 and 400 years, it was noted as observed as far back as 1665 by astronomer Gian Domenico Cassini. Large enough, in surface size, to house three Earth-Sized planets it is the single most prominent feature of any of the planets in our solar system. The single largest feature on the single largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter truly is the leader in all things large!

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Size Comparison Planets in our Solar System

Size Comparison Planets in our Solar System

(Size Comparison Planets in our Solar System)

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Jupiter has sixty-seven confirmed moons in its orbit. That puts Jupiter as ‘Number ONE’ in the orbiting body department, with Saturn coming in a close ‘second’ with sixty-two. Now, My Dear Readers, can you even begin to imagine what it would be like to travel our planet’s great oceans with sixty+ moons pulling the waters this way and that? They just might get frothed up into some kind of gaseous atmosphere! Our next two images picture several of the prominent moons, and then their composition.

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Jupiter’s Moons Compared to Earth’s

Jupiter’s Moons Compared to Earth’s

(Jupiter’s Moons Compared to Earth’s)

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My Dear Readers, it is the moons of Jupiter, and Saturn as well, that have captivated the imagination of two generations of science fiction writers. These galactic hitchhikers have captured my imagination, too. I find it to be very enlightening, that these Jovian ‘Gas Giants’ have moons that compare (in size and composition) to the terrestrial planets of the inner solar system. It leaves me wondering if life were to originate, and thrive, on any other surface (aside from Earth), could it not be the surface of these terrestrial moons of the Jovian Giants? The graphic, below, shows the internal composition of several of these Jovian moons.

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Composition of Jupiter’s Moons

Composition of Jupiter’s Moons

(Composition of Jupiter’s Moons)

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That brings us to the end of this edition of ‘Lost In Space’, and to the end of our ‘Tour of Our Solar System’. We started closest to the Sun, with Mercury, working our way out to Venus. Then, I took our ‘Ship of the Stars’ to the outermost regions of our solar system. We went to the ‘Oort Cloud’ and the ‘Kuiper Belt’. Then, working our way back towards our sun, Sol, we covered our Jovian ‘Gas Giants’. Now, My Dear Readers, you might well be thinking… ‘Dan, you missed Mars and EARTH!’, and you would be right!

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Here is my thinking, each and every week I spend a whole day… a two-year series on ‘The Mars Report’. So, I really think that I have covered Mars well. As for the Earth? Well, I have lived here on this rock for the better part of fifty + years. I hate to say it, but this rock just bores the heck out of me! I mean I could spend a whole day ‘barrowing’ images of the Earth, from the web, and posting them here… but what’s the point, when there is ‘Google Earth’?

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No, I think that this is a good a point to bring this particular series to an end. Although, there will be a review article which will be published later this week or in the regular spot for ‘Lost In Space’ next week. I haven’t decided, yet. I must say, My Dear Readers, that I have thoroughly enjoyed this ‘Tour of Our Solar System’ these past several months. It has given me a chance to share some incredible images, bring a lot of you ‘up to speed’ on the many successful space craft launched by NASA/JPL, and the many discoveries that you might have missed out on hearing about. I like sharing the successes of NASA and JPL. It seems, at times, that the only time we hear (in the news) about NASA and JPL is when something goes wrong!

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Jupiter and the Juno Space Craft

Jupiter and the Juno Space Craft

(Jupiter and the Juno Space Craft)

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Now, after all I have shown you in these many editions of ‘Lost in Space’ that NASA/JPL have a great many success stories! We know more about our solar system, today, than in any time in the history of mankind. With each passing month, we add more and more to this storehouse of information and discoveries. Mankind must keep moving forward into the stars. Our life began here on Earth, but our future lies in the STARS!

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Thank you for joining me, here, for this great adventure. Now, My Dear Readers, I ask you… IF you have enjoyed these several months of; images, science, and discoveries? Would you please show your appreciation by Helping Me Battle CANCER?!?

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There is ONLY two weeks, left, of my campaign to raise the funds I need to pay off bills, provide transportation, and secure a caregiver’s time to help me through this process. IF my work has brought greater understanding of the solar system around you? If you have enjoyed the images and pictures that I share each and every week?

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Would you PLEASE take but a moment, and pledge $5, $10 or $20 to my Cancer Treatment Fund @ Indiegogo? It will make a WORLD of difference in my life!

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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The Other Shoe eBay Store
PLEASE Shop at The Other Shoe eBay Store!

PLEASE SHOP at The Other Shoe eBay Store!

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PLEASE DONATE to

Danny’s Cancer Treatment Fund @ Indiegogo

Danny in Rolling Hills Estates August 12, 2014

Danny in Rolling Hills Estates August 12, 2014

PLEASE GIVE!?!

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© 2010 – 2014 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

 

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About Daniel Hanning
I am a; writer, editor and publisher. I write, most often, articles about our space program, fun videos andpolitical works. My most recent additions are; A Week In Review, Sunday Funnies and The Adventures of Nadia. Along with The Mars Report and Lost in Space. ENJOY!

One Response to Lost in Space – Solar System Tour – Jupiter

  1. Pingback: A Week in Review – September 21st, 2014 | The Other Shoe

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