Juno, The Essence of Celestial Harmonic Motion

Juno_carries_a_suite_of_nine_instruments_to_explore_Jupiter
Juno, perilously skirting the cloud decks of Jupiter, firing its main thruster during the JOI

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The final view taken by the JunoCam instrument just before Juno’s instruments were powered down in preparation for JOI. With the exception of Jupiter as seen from the side, this view is similar to what Galileo might have seen as the first human to see the giant planet with the aid of a telescope.

In beautiful cadence, the progress of knowledge and understanding cascading across the millennia culminating now, with Juno’s successful arrival at Jupiter. In resounding brilliance, we are in orbit around the largest planet in our solar system, in search of our beginnings. In the waning hours of July 4th, Juno successfully began its two year orbit of the giant planet. This date, deliberately chosen by NASA mission planners and engineers to coincide with the national celebration of this country’s birth, will now also be known around the world as another birth, the birth of a new day when we truly begin the search for our beginnings. It is therefore, not a uniquely American celebration, but a worldwide celebration, as the day we move forward as one race and one people.

This triumph is a vindication for all those since time immemorial who have sought to push forward authentic science and inquiry, some having suffered greatly at the hands of the ignorant; to them we salute and honor you. From the brilliance of the Greeks, Pythagoras, Archimedes, Eratosthenes, Aristarchus who knew Jupiter as a wandering star, and Hypatia, the first martyr for science, to Copernicus, who had the innate sense that the Earth was not at the center of the solar system and who, for that insight and the publication of his De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Orbits of the Celestial Spheres), is known as the Father of Modern Astronomy, to  Kepler who, in publishing Astronomia Nova, gave us his laws of orbital motion, to Galileo, The Father of Modern Physics, the first human to gaze at the sky with the aid of a telescope and to see, yet imagine, the true beauty, harmony and simplicity of nature, to him, Jupiter was a revelation; to Newton, who gave us so much, codifying the advanced mathematics we use to this day, whose fundamental laws of motion are still taught and used and quite ironically, were used to calculate Juno’s trajectory and orbit, who, disregarding all of his own accomplishments, declared “If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants; to all those who continue the good fight with the light of reason, triumphant over the darkness of ignorance, Juno’s arrival at Jupiter has a special and unique significance.

Juno is humanity’s first glimpse of Celestial Harmonic Motion and in what could only be described as a veritable hymn to the triumphant human spirit, humankind’s thirst for knowledge and discovery, a success today, the culmination of 2,500 years of progress, the following video was produced by the NASA Juno team with musical score by Vangelis.


All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike-and yet it is the most precious thing we have

An index of all articles in this blog can be found here.

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