If you’re a space geek like me, then you know that Jupiter is essentially Earth’s bulwark. It saves us from a fair amount of shit that comes floating through the shooting gallery that is our solar system. Recently the Enormous Bastard may have extended this solid yet again.
We don’t quite treat our water supply here on Earth with much respect. No worries though. I mean, what can we do? As a Western culture? Drawback? Pah! Cut down on our corpulence? Pah! We just need to head to Europa.
That gorgeous piece of insignificance being eaten up in the frame by Jupiter is Io. That moon is almost the same size as our own, and serves as a reminder of Jupiter’s enormity.
This is some high-resolution cosmic porn right hurr. The Pic du Midi observatory in France has compiled a glorious video of Jupiter in all Its Mighty Glory.
You can see Jupiter in the night sky tonight. Don’t believe me? Believe Phil Plait! Well, okay, you could have right after sunset. People on the west coast! Do it! For me! Did you miss it? Then console yourself with this video made by Emil Kraaikamp of Jupiter rolling across the night sky.
Brad Goodspeed has answered the question, “What the fuck would it look like if other planets in our solar system were as close to us as the Moon?” Dude did it in video form, and it’s sexy geek space porn. Goodspeed elaborates on his Vimeo page:
Here’s an animation I did to make you feel small, and also convey the deep awe I feel at the feet of the Universe.
While watching the video of the lunar eclipse I posted the other day I was looking at the curvature of the earth’s shadow on the moon. It made me think about how large the earth might look if an exact copy of it was up there instead of the moon. Soon curiosity got the better of me, and I was animating!
So the basic idea is, each planet you see is the size it would appear in the sky if it shared an orbit with the moon, 380,000 kms from earth. I created this video in After Effects, and because of certain technical considerations had to keep the field of view at 62 degrees. That means the foreground element is not precisely to scale. I realized this after the fact and may update the video at some point in the future. All planets are to correct scale with one another in any case.
It’s gorgeous. Hit the jump to check it out.
Listen man, we all know that Jupiter is the Chief Motherfucker on this solar system’s block. It’s got a storm on it the size of Earth, and you can fit every single god damn planet inside of it. And if that ain’t enough, we now know how this Super-Duper Son of a Bitch got to be the size it is now: eating planets. Yeah dude, bail the fuck out!
Jupiter became the solar system’s biggest planet by consuming its chief rival, a massive rocky planet ten times bigger than Earth. New discoveries suggest Jupiter and Saturn learned a lesson from their mythological namesakes, “eating” any planet that opposed them.
Both Jupiter and Saturn began life as rocky planets that were at least a few times more massive than Earth, which would make them so-called “Super-Earths.” Their greater size made them big enough to trap the nebula gas that swirled around them, creating the huge atmospheres that made them the gas giants we know today.
For that model to work, Jupiter and Saturn should have rocky interiors that are roughly the same size, but recent measurements revealed that wasn’t the case. Jupiter’s core is only about two to ten times the mass of Earth, while Saturn is much bigger, maybe 15 to 30 times the mass of our planet. There’s only one possible explanation – but it paints a grim picture of just how violent and cutthroat the ancient solar system really was.
If another Super-Earth planet smashed into Jupiter, the gas giant’s immense atmosphere would have flattened the rocky intruder, then sent it hurtling towards the core shortly afterward. The collision between the flattened Super-Earth and Jupiter’s core would have vaporized both the planet and much of Jupiter’s core, kicking up lots of heavy elements into the gaseous atmosphere.
This model would explain pretty much everything we know about Jupiter. It explains why it’s so much more massive than the rest of the gas giants, why its atmosphere has a greater mix of heavy elements than that of the Sun, and why its core is so small.
Ya’ll stay away from Jupiter. I don’t want you associating with him. He’s violent! Don’t let him lure you in with promises of love and rings. He’ll just eat you and we’ll never see you again. You’ll be on a milk carton. A cautionary tale that mothers will tell their children. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.