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filthy light thief (3)
KirkJobSluder (2)

Cosmic pluralism: science, religion, and possible populations on Venus

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, 1845).
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 21, 2014 - 7 comments

Heigh Ho, to Europa we will go

NASA's 2015 budget request has been released (PDF, OMB Summary), with an interesting mission study : $15 million to look at a unmanned mission to Jupiter's moon Europa. Why Europa? It may have more water than Earth, sloshing around under a thick ice, which makes it a major contender for harboring life. Don't get too excited just yet though. The mission would't launch until around 2025 and would arrive in Jupiter's orbit in the early 2030s. That's a long way off, but a particular US Congressman really wants this mission to happen.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 6, 2014 - 69 comments

If you plan on taking a trip to Jupiter, this is not the map to use.

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel is a tediously accurate model of the Solar System that Josh Worth made to explain to his daughter just how difficult it is to go on holiday to Mars.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 5, 2014 - 69 comments

Jupiter in motion, as photographed and drawn from Earth

Redditor bubbleweed took a five and half hour time-lapse of Jupiter, and made this gif to show Jupiter from Io's frame of reference [WARNING: 4.6mb GIF | alternate: 60kb HTML5 video]. But why simply photograph Jupiter, when you can take the time to really know the planet and draw it, repeatedly, as Frédéric Burgeot has done. His work included a flat texture map* which Pascal Chauvet turned into an animated version of Jupiter (Vimeo). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 14, 2014 - 21 comments

The Madness Of The Planets

I am a staunch believer in leading with the bad news, so let me get straight to the point. Earth, our anchor and our solitary haven in a hostile universe, is in a precarious situation. The solar system around us is rife with instability.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 31, 2013 - 42 comments

The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos, to know itself.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series of one hour shows written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, that was aired at the tail end of 1980 and was - at the time - the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. It is best introduced by an audio excerpt of one of his books, The Pale Blue Dot. Inside is a complete annotated collection of the series. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 3, 2012 - 46 comments

Life on Pluto - Details on Page 97.

What lives where in the Solar System. Fantastic Adventure covers from 1939/40 depicting the kind of lifeforms they think each planet can support. [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Sep 20, 2012 - 63 comments

Outer Space, man.

The wonders of space. This is a stunning black and white video taken from actual Cassini and Huygens mission footage.
posted by pjern on Apr 19, 2012 - 35 comments

The Toynbee Tiles

The film Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles just won the U.S. Documentary Competition Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and so we asked puzzlemaker Eric Harshbarger to give The film transcends the tabloid possibilities of this event. I'm struck by the pathos, somewhat discomfited by the personal resonance I felt for the creator of the tiles.
posted by mule98J on Apr 7, 2012 - 21 comments

A Map of Io

The United Stated Geological Survey has finished a six-year effort to map the surface of Jupiter's moon Io. [more inside]
posted by Quonab on Mar 20, 2012 - 33 comments

March Madness!

Take a tour of the solar system! Tonight, see the wonders of Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn! There's only one catch: You'll need to actually step outside to do it. [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Mar 5, 2012 - 48 comments

No one hears you scream but these mythological figurines

NASA's Juno spacecraft launched this morning and is en route to Jupiter (launch video). Equipped with microwave, ultraviolet, infrared, and visible light detectors Juno will investigate the origins, atmosphere, and magnetosphere of the Solar System's largest planets over one year beginning with its arrival in 2016. Using its awesome solar-powered technology Juno will show Jupiter's magnetic field in detail never before seen. We probably won't hear much from Juno again until 2013, when it makes a fly-by of Earth. You can follow Juno on Twitter, so if it types out its scream, someone will hear it. Also screaming traveling aboard Juno are three very special LEGO mini-figurines.
posted by IvoShandor on Aug 5, 2011 - 35 comments

Asteroids In Resonance With Jupiter

A video plotting the movement of Hilda and Trojan asteroids that are locked in a resonance with the orbit of Jupiter. Best watched in HD. Previously
posted by bonobothegreat on Feb 19, 2011 - 25 comments

Whether they find a life there or not, I think Jupiter should be called an enemy planet.

What if other planets in the Solar System orbited Earth at the same distance as the Moon? (SLVimeo) Full screen highly recommended.
posted by grapesaresour on Jan 29, 2011 - 120 comments

All these worlds are yours except... etc.

The Ice Fracture Explorer is Joseph Shoer's concept for an unmanned expedition into the oceans of Europa. [via]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 17, 2010 - 19 comments

Jupiter is a Large Target

Early this morning, local time, two amateur astronomers independently captured images of something colliding with Jupiter. Anthony Wesley (cache) in Broken Hill, Australia noticed it first. Wesley spread the word and Christopher Go (cache) 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 - 57 comments

"I'm huntin' now trying to find...a belt in the Jovian morn..."

Something is missing on Jupiter.
posted by Burhanistan on May 13, 2010 - 56 comments

8 Wonders of the Solar System

8 Wonders of the Solar System, Made Interactive. "What might future explorers of the solar system see? Find out by taking an interactive tour through the eyes of Hugo Award-winning artist Ron Miller. Text and narration by Ed Bell." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 1, 2010 - 16 comments

Will a lava lamp work on Jupiter?

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 - 37 comments

3 Million Tons of Extraterrestrial Ice Fishing

At least three million tons of fishlike creatures could theoretically live and breathe on Europa, according to Professor Richard Greenberg of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Greenberg recently presented his findings to the Division for Planetary Sciences, American Astronomical Society (PDF, Google quick view). Greenberg has written about potential life on Europa before, but his recent calculations suggest that the concentrations of oxygen would be great enough to support not only microorganisms, but also more complex animal-like organisms which have greater oxygen demands. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 18, 2009 - 46 comments

Jupiter under fire

Sunday morning amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley captured a photo of an apparent asteroid or comet strike on Jupiter. Alerted by the announcement on the ALPO-Jupiter email list, other amateurs soon posted follow-up images. [more inside]
posted by flug on Jul 20, 2009 - 39 comments

The Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum

The mission of The Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum is to preserve the history of the cultural contributions of Burt Reynolds. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 1, 2009 - 26 comments

Animation of Tvashtar Volcano Erupting on Io

Tvashtar in Motion. Awesome five-frame GIF of fountaining sulfuric lava on Io courtesy New Horizons as it swung by Jupiter earlier this year. Found via Planetary Society Blog (Thank you, Emily). More on Tvashtar.
posted by brownpau on May 15, 2007 - 19 comments

IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO BE SURE!

All these worlds are yours, save Europa. Attempt no landings he...llo! What the hell is wrong with you!? Did you just nuke Jupiter?
posted by loquacious on Apr 9, 2007 - 86 comments

7 mph would be the equivalent of driving at the speed of light

At forty miles (64.4 km) from Pluto to Sun, the Maine Solar System Model is the largest complete three-dimensional scale model of the solar system in the world. What, you didn't know there was more than one? And yes, Pluto is staying put.
posted by jessamyn on Sep 4, 2006 - 29 comments

I am become Death

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 - 33 comments

Mysteries of Titan

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 - 5 comments

This will seem quaint 10 years from now

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 - 12 comments

Something wonderful

Something wonderful
David Bowman: You see, something's going to happen. You must leave.
Dr. Heywood Floyd: What? What's gonna happen?
David Bowman: "Something wonderful.
posted by norm111 on Oct 24, 2003 - 12 comments

Galileo Dies.

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 - 7 comments

Swan song for a great explorer.

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 - 9 comments

Puzzling X-rays from Jupiter

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 - 8 comments

Interesting hypothesis that Europa's seas are swimming with bacteria.

Interesting hypothesis that Europa's seas are swimming with bacteria. Preliminary results show that all three species, the ordinary gut bacteria Escherichia coli, and extremophiles Deinococcus radiodurans and Sulfolobus shibatae, are just as good at explaining Europa's IR spectrum as the [magnesium sulphate] salts.
posted by skallas on Dec 13, 2001 - 10 comments

Cassini's just outside the orbit of Jupiter.

Cassini's just outside the orbit of Jupiter. Where is the space program in all of this? Have mundane zealots hobbled humanity's greatest feats to come? Should we be plotting ourselves to the stars now?
posted by crasspastor on Sep 22, 2001 - 4 comments

Cassini makes Jupiter flyby on way to Saturn.

Cassini makes Jupiter flyby on way to Saturn. They successfully made their pass, picking up considerable velocity necessary to make it out to Saturn. [More inside]
posted by Steven Den Beste on Dec 30, 2000 - 16 comments

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