Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jupiter Took a Bullet For Us


Last weekend either a comet or an asteroid hit the planet Jupiter. The image of Jupiter shows that the planet took a big hit. To put this into perspective, the "black eye" is the size of the Pacific Ocean! If this object struck Earth, life on our planet would be forever changed, most likely over. As terrible a scenario this is, we, as Christians, know that there is another life - Our Lord promises us "eternal life." But is our prayer a confident prayer when we say "maranâ' thâ'", Come Lord Jesus? Is our house in order? Our Lord says "Beware, keep alert, for you do not know when the time will come." Mark 13:33

The following article, by Dennis Overbye, is out of nytimes.com.

Jupiter took a bullet for us last weekend.
An object, probably a comet that nobody saw coming, plowed into the giant planet’s colorful cloud tops sometime Sunday, splashing up debris and leaving a black eye the size of the Pacific Ocean. This was the second time in 15 years that this had happened. The whole world was watching when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 fell apart and its pieces crashed into Jupiter in 1994, leaving Earth-size marks that persisted up to a year.

That’s Jupiter doing its cosmic job, astronomers like to say. Better it than us. Part of what makes the Earth such a nice place to live, the story goes, is that Jupiter’s overbearing gravity acts as a gravitational shield deflecting incoming space junk, mainly comets, away from the inner solar system where it could do for us what an asteroid apparently did for the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Indeed, astronomers look for similar configurations — a giant outer planet with room for smaller planets in closer to the home stars — in other planetary systems as an indication of their hospitableness to life.

Anthony Wesley, the Australian amateur astronomer who first noticed the mark on Jupiter and sounded the alarm on Sunday, paid homage to that notion when he told The Sydney Morning Herald, “If anything like that had hit the Earth it would have been curtains for us, so we can feel very happy that Jupiter is doing its vacuum-cleaner job and hoovering up all these large pieces before they come for us.”

But is this warm and fuzzy image of the King of Planets as father-protector really true?

“I really question this idea,” said Brian G. Marsden of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, referring to Jupiter as our guardian planet. As the former director of the International Astronomical Union’s Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, he has spent his career keeping track of wayward objects, particularly comets, in the solar system.

Jupiter is just as much a menace as a savior, he said. The big planet throws a lot of comets out of the solar system, but it also throws them in.

You can read more HERE

The above image taken by NASA with an infrared telescope in Hawaii shows a large impact on Jupiter's south polar region early Monday. Astronomers say Jupiter was apparently struck by an object, possibly a comet. It happened on the 15th anniversary of another comet strike.

1 comment:

raynz said...

For me this is God's way of Protecting His People. Jupiter is one of His creation and surely has a purpose. As we correlate theology and science, the more I believe that they are in harmony with each other. Science proves that there is one Superior Being with Superior mind that is unmatched with the brightest individual in this planet.

By the way, thanks for visiting my site. It's good to know that in this modern age, there are people who still care even though they dont know each other personally. May your day be blessed.