Is Jupiter’s core liquifying?

Jupiter, with the moon Ganymede peeking out from behind. Credit: NASA/ESA/E. Karkoschka (U. Arizona)

Jupiter, the largest and most massive planet in our solar system, may be its own worst enemy. It turns out that its central core may in fact be self-destructing, gradually liquifying and dissolving over time. This implies it was previously larger than it is now, and may dissolve altogether at some point in the future. Will Jupiter eventually destroy itself completely? No, probably not, but it may lose its heart…

See Universe Today for the full article.

Juno looks back at home

The spacecraft Juno, now enroute to Jupiter, took a photo looking back at the Earth and Moon as it speeds away. It was about 9.66 million kilometers (6 million miles) away at the time, and will take another five years to get to Jupiter. In the image below, Earth is on the left and the moon is on the right. There have been pictures like this taken by other spacecraft before, but this reminds us again that everything in Earth’s history has occurred on that tiny “pale blue dot” floating in the infinite blackness of space.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

On a side note, I’ve been wondering why we always tend to refer to the Moon as just “the moon” when its name is Luna. I mean, we call all of the other planets, moons, etc. by their proper names. Just a random thought!

The Great Red Spot in stunning detail

There is a great new blog post over at The Planetary Society Blog regarding a new, enhanced moasaic image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, from the original Voyager 1 images taken in 1979. New computer technology not available then has brought out amazing new details. The new enhancements were done by Björn Jónsson. It looks like a painting but is very real…! Larger hi-res version is here.

Credit: NASA/JPL. Image processing: Björn Jónsson

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