In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it became possible to believe in the existence of life on other planets on scientific grounds. Once the Earth was no longer the center of the universe according to Copernicus, once Galileo had aimed his telescope at the Moon and found it a rough globe with mountains and seas, the assumption of life on other planets became much less far-fetched. In general there were no actual differences between Earth and Venus, since both planets orbited the Sun, were of similar size, and possessed mountains and an atmosphere. If there is life on Earth, one may ponder why it could not also exist on Venus. In the extraterrestrial life debate of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Moon, our closest celestial body, was the prime candidate for life on other worlds, although a number of scientists and scholars also speculated about life on Venus and on other planets, both within our solar system and beyond its frontiers. Venusians: the Planet Venus in the 18th-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate
(PDF), from The Journal of Astronomical Data
(JAD) Volume 19
, somewhat via NPR
and their mention of amateur astronomer Thomas Dick's estimations of the populations of the other planets in our solar system
(Archive.org online view of Celestial scenery, or, The Wonders of the planetary system displayed
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 21, 2014 -
Early this morning, local time, two amateur astronomers independently captured images of something colliding with Jupiter. Anthony Wesley
) in Broken Hill, Australia noticed it first. Wesley spread the word and Christopher Go
) in Cebu City, Philippines also found that he'd documented the event, which occurred at 20:31 June 3, Universal Time. [more inside]
posted by Songdog
on Jun 4, 2010 -
Will a lava lamp work on Jupiter?
Neil Fraser decided to test it.
"To find out how lava lamps behave in super-terrestrial gravity, I built a large centrifuge in my living room. ...it was a rich learning experience as I encountered one metal-shredding and wire-melting failure after another." [more inside]
posted by odinsdream
on Mar 7, 2010 -
The Lucifer Project.
"This is a documentation and study of the feasibility of creating a sustainable fusion reaction from an initial fission reaction on Saturn caused by a significant quantity of Plutonium-238 being inserted deep into the atmosphere." [via: del.icio.us/blackbeltjones]
posted by gsb
on Nov 21, 2005 -
Saturn's enigmatic moon Titan
holds on to its mysteries. Radar images
reveal quite a bit of variation but no clear interpretation. The hazy atmosphere prevents the sudden shock of discovery that characterized the Voyager and Galileo flybys of the moons of Jupiter, revealing little more than fuzzy Rorschach blobs.
With less than 1% of the surface mapped, researchers suspect that Titan has a young surface
shaped by processes that have yet to be revealed.
posted by KirkJobSluder
on Nov 5, 2004 -
Wouldn't it be great if you could get the weather from a poorly synthesized computer-generated voice? Well, now you can. Call 1-888-573-8255 and ask Jupiter
what the weather is like, or will be like, for nearly any city you want. (via Cool Tools
posted by euphorb
on Jul 19, 2004 -
NASA's Official 'Galileo Dies' Page.
Galileo is set to crash into Jupiter on Sunday. Responsible for many great images
and tons of information, Galileo served well. Find a complete history of the Galileo mission here
. Also, don't forget to watch the End of Mission webcast this Sunday at approx. 2 PM EST here
posted by Ufez Jones
on Sep 16, 2003 -
Swan song for a great explorer.
Tomorow, the Galileo explorer will make a flyby of Jovian moon Amalthea
ending pehaps the geatest unmanned mission in NASA history. Galileo telemetry may not survive the flyby having already receieved much more radiation than it was designed for. Even if it does survive, this will be its final orbit scheduled to crash into Jupiter in September of next year. In spite of antenna difficulties, the spacecraft returned many beautiful images
of Jupiter's moons, along with coverage of the Shoemaker-Levy collision
and the first atmospheric probe to decend into Jupiter's weather.
posted by KirkJobSluder
on Nov 3, 2002 -
Puzzling X-rays from Jupiter
"We weren't surprised to find x-rays coming from Jupiter." Other observatories had done that years ago. The surprise is what Chandra has revealed for the very first time: the location of the beacon -- surprisingly close the planet's pole -- and the regular way it pulses. (Via Fark.)
posted by Mwongozi
on Mar 7, 2002 -