Destination Jupiter: What to expect during the Juno mission


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I am so excited about this I can barely contain myself.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This IS exciting. Cool stuff!

Crazy that it's so far away it takes five years to get there. The distance is mind-boggling.

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Thank goodness some people still going where no man has gone before, figuratively.

And willing to share the data with us.

And then wouldn't mind destroying it to preserve the pristine environment.

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These are the first baby steps to where humanity needs to get. The Earth is a death-trap. Our solar system is a death-trap. We need to get out of this part of the galaxy and spread out to ensure continued human life. It is a distance AND numbers thing. Spread the population as far and wide as possible for the species to survive.

At any moment, an unseen supernova could start ejecting gamma rays in our direction sufficient to kill all life in this part of space - a GRB. All life on the closer side to that nova will die and a millisecond later, all life everywhere on Earth will die. Death-trap. Could happen today or in 20B years, but it is a certainty.

Yes, this is exciting!

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@Black Sabbath, Keep it in check man, You're gonna explode!

Space has always intrigued me. If I ever had the cure for eternal life, the first thing on my check list is to explore as much of the galaxy and maybe universe as I could. We barely know enough about our own solar system. Which moons/planets nearby may be capable of/ or already are, supporting life.

Questions I'd like answered some day... how long is that red spot storm going to keep going on in Jupiter? Or another completely out there question... Is the red storm being caused by artificial means? An observation station in the eye of the storm?

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lostrune2: Thank goodness some people still going where no man has gone before, figuratively.

I do think you mean, "literally." As in man has literally NEVER gone to Jupiter before! Because it's true, mankind has never been anywhere close to such a distance. (Unless you're counting the fictional Captain Kirk, that is!)

My "mind blowing" topic I've seen recently about the solar system is: "If the Sun-Neptune distance were scaled down to the length of an (American) football field (100 yards from goal line to goal line, or about 94.5 meters), then the sun would be two-thirds the diameter of a GOLF BALL, and the gas giants would ALL be smaller than a BB-gun PELLET, with the terrestrial planets each smaller than the ball contained at the tip of a ball-point pen. The planets (with the Sun located at the goal line of one end) would be at the 1, 2, 3, 5, 17, 32, 64 and 100 yard lines!"

How about them apples! Think about how tiny we and insignificant we all are, and how much space there is out there! And still, NASA finds a way of getting to that BB Pellet out there on the 32 yard line! WOW!

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A look at what’s coming up during the $1.1 billion mission:

Fewer dollars for bridges and roads in the States?

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All stars die. Once our own Sun has consumed all the hydrogen fuel in its core, it too will reach the end of its life (about 4-7 billion years from now.) For a few million years prior, it will expand into a red giant, puffing away its outer layers (swallowing the inner planets including Earth). Then it’ll collapse down into a white dwarf and slowly cool down to the background temperature of the Universe.

So, what’s the big difference between stars like our Sun and the stars that can explode as supernovae?

Mass. That’s it.

Supernova progenitors – these stars capable of becoming supernovae – are extremely massive, at least 8 to 12 times the mass of our Sun.

A supernova would need to go off within a distance of 100 light-years to irradiate our planet.

According to Dr. Phil Plait from Bad Astronomy, the closest star that could detonate as a supernova is the 10 solar mass Spica, at a distance of 260 light-years. No where near close enough to cause us any danger.

If our civilization (or whatever humans evolve to) can even survive a billion years (even dinosaurs only lasted less than 200 million years), we will surely have a way to move the Earth to safety or just leave it.

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