Didactic Sunday: Jupiter!

Jupiter. Or, to its mates, Jupe.

Professional Moron’s Mr. Wapojif has been learning about the planets of late, courtesy of an excellent BBC documentary called (SHOCK HORROR!) The Planets. It’s a genius name as it makes you realise it’s likely to be about planets, and not cabbages. So, to summarise further, had “they” called this documentary series The Cabbages a lot of science loving people probably wouldn’t have watched it. As who wants to learn about cabbages? Farmers, maybe, but not many other folk. Cabbages just aren’t quite as exciting as the colossal enormity of Jupiter and the bizarre happenings there.

Without much murther fadoo we give to you Jupiter and some quick facts; it’s eleven times the size of Earth. Eleven. Not three or four but eleven. This means it’s pretty damn big, but there’s also a sort of red circular area (seen near the bottom left of the planet in the picture ABOVE) which is apparently a storm – and it’s three times the size of Earth. Cripes! This thing’s been raging for hundreds of years. So, it’s a hospitable place then! Awesome. Read on, dear sir/madam, for more information. Or have yourself a merry Sunday. ‘Sup to you.

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Jupiter doesn’t really get on with the Earth so the two haven’t spoken in several billion years. Nevertheless, Jupiter remains on good terms with other members of the Solar System and also has some good mates in the form of 67 Moons who reside with it in Deep Space. There are four “big ‘uns” and 63 “little ‘uns”. The former are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto (or Bob, Brian, Steve, and Jeff as Jupe refers to them), the other 63… well, who knows? Why not find out for yourself! Anyway, Io is where a woman person first discovered active volcanic activity on a planet other than Earth. That’s one for the Feminist’s Belt of Honour. Indeed. Io’s volcanic eruptions are constant and hellish. Meantime Europa is a hellish ice world, Ganymede is utterly lifeless, whilst Callisto is a half decent place. Sort of like a desert, but with Jupiter to wave to every morning instead of scorpions. Unless, of course, there are Jupiter Scorpions in existence. 70ft tall things who prey on human flesh! Oh, the horror, Jupiter!

Jupiter’s mates; they’re rowdy after a few beers, so careful.

Anyway, whilst it seems unlikely these monsters exist on the Gas Giant, there are plenty of other interesting facts about this area of the Solar System. For instance, t’was Galileo Galilei who discovered the planet in 1610. He also postulated the Sun was the centre of the Universe, which the Earth was in orbit around. Of course this nasty theory meant poor old humans weren’t the most important thing in existence. Boo hoo, shucks to us! Must have been a real boot in the backside! These days his discoveries would have been heralded as landmark steps forward for humanity, but back in 1633 he was a heretical maniac and the religious hooligans of the age kept him under house arrest until his death nine years later. For shame! Here in 2012 we would like to thank Galilei heartily for his genius contribution to life and the cosmos. Had his discoveries not been dismissed as the insane jabbering of a non-believer then we could all have been living on Mars by now, eating free Mars Bars and drinking Mars Coke. Mars Kebabs would be pretty ace, too, as they would be mega healthy! Ingredients; rock and dust. Super! Indeed, as our Solar System does possess some lively planets, but Mars isn’t one of them. Neither is the ever bland Moon. Imagine if we had Jupiter for a neighbour; we wouldn’t even be able to see anything! Now that would be awesome.

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