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Friday, August 7, 2015


As the International Astronomical Union has been meeting in Honolulu, I was thinking, Earth is mostly solid rock, while Jupiter is gaseous.  Does Earth, therefore, have more mass?  (My comments are italicized):
  • Mass…Jupiter has a mass of 1.8981 x 1027 kg. That is over 317 times the mass of Earth.  (So the answer is no!)
  • A Dali creation?  No, this a Voyager image of Jupiter's Great Red Spot.
  • Volume…Jupiter’s volume is1.43128 x 1015 km3. That is 1,321 times Earth’s volume.
  • Surface area…The surface area of Jupiter is 6.1419 x 1010 km2. Earth is over 120 times smaller.
  • Sidereal rotation period…Jupiter rotates every 9.92496 hours compared to Earth’s 24.  (Thus, it takes this massive planet only around one-third the time to complete a whole day.)
  • Mean circumference…Jupiter has a mean circumference of of 4.39264 x 105km, which is nearly 11 times larger than Earth’s.  (This means that, while the surface of our planet is moving at around 1,000 miles/hour, Jupiter's is whizzing along at around 26,600 MPH.  I've always wondered why we don't feel this movement.  It has something to do with relativity and momentum.  For example, if you're in a car travelling at 10 MPH, or 100 MPH, you don't feel that you're moving at all.  Ergo, if you're on Jupiter you wouldn't feel movement.  Of course, the surface is gaseous, so you'd instantly sink.)
  • Surface gravity…The surface gravity of Jupiter is 2.53 times that on Earth. While scientists have calculated Jupiter’s gravity, the planet does not have a solid surface.
  • Average surface temperature…The average surface temperature of Jupiter is -108.15 C. Earth’s average temperature is 15 C.
  • Moons…Everyone knows that Earth has one moon. Jupiter recently had 63 confirmed moons and a few more suspected satellites. (Galileo discovered the first four, which are larger than our Moon.  In some of our astronomy classes we might have heard perhaps 16 moons for Jupiter.  But 63 is way more than I imagined.)  But, aha, NASA now says 67 moons for sure and more to come.  Io, below, the smallest of the first four and similar in size to our Moon, photographed by NASA's Galileo spacecraft, has 400 active volcanoes and mountains taller than Mount Everest.)

Abut the International Astronomical Union's General Assembly here, there is a whole host of free activities for the local community.  Click on THIS to see if there is anything of interest to you.

Of all the terms, Guillermo is now a Post-Tropical Cyclone at 35 MPH and close to the island of Kauai.  In Honolulu it is sunny, but humid.  To be Hurricane Hilda is tracing the path of Guillermo:

All signs show a slightly more northernly path for Hilda.

In the West Pacific, Typhoon Soudelar is at 120 MPH and poised to make landfall over central Taiwan:

The good news is that this was about where we (Pacific International Center for High Technology Research) were thinking about placing a ground-based ocean thermal energy conversion facility for the country.  That never happened two decades ago because Taiwan Power Company thought it was too financially risky.  They were right, for the wrong reason.

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