"Maybe we’re on Mars because of the magnificent science that can be done there - the gates of the wonder world are opening in our time. Maybe we’re on Mars because we have to be, because there’s a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process, we come after all, from hunter gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we’ve been wanderers. And, the next place to wander to, is Mars. But whatever the reason you’re on Mars is, I’m glad you’re there. And I wish I was with you.”
Carl Sagan’s message to future Mars explorers. Read more and listen to the actual audio, HERE.
The planet Jupiter has 67 confirmed moons. This gives it the largest retinue of moons with “reasonably secure” orbits of any planet in the Solar System. In fact, Jupiter and its moons are like a miniature solar system with the inner moons orbiting faster than the others. Eight of Jupiter’s moons are regular satellites, with prograde and nearly circular orbits that are not greatly inclined with respect to Jupiter’s equatorial plane. The remainder of Jupiter’s moons are irregular satellites, whose prograde and retrograde orbits are much farther from Jupiter and have high inclinations and eccentricities. These moons were probably captured by Jupiter from solar orbits. There are 17 recently discovered irregular satellites that have not yet been named.
Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Lowell Observatory/J. Spencer/JHU-APL
Jupiter is easily one of the most entertaining and enjoyable planets I continue to anticipate appearing in the evening sky. With the constant orbit of it’s most visible moons - Callisto, Io, Europa, and Ganymede - allowing for a new sight through binoculars or telescope each time.
30th Space Symposium, Main Stage. This may seem a bit familiar to some of you, especially those who have been dedicated fans of Neil deGrasse Tyson, who gave the keynote speech for the 28th Space Symposium.
“We’re driving down the road running our GPS, it is working, we find our destination…nobody is thinking about satellites. They’re just thinking, did they get to their destination in time. It’s like shaving. No one will come up to you and say hey, you shaved real good today! The act of doing it perfectly is the measure of it going unnoticed.”
— NDT, in reference to the “hidden role that space plays in our culture”
Watch the whole keynote speech. It’s inspiring and may change you (or others) to start thinking about society, culture, and the future through the cosmic perspective. When I was in this room, that entire speech played back in my mind.