Harry Potter and the Moons of Jupiter

Written by K.A.Cassimally

Continued from page 1

Unfortunatelyrepparttar mystery of life in Europa cannot be solved by this generation and I personally think nor canrepparttar 127671 next. This is because ofrepparttar 127672 technology which still needs to take a big step forwards.

Back at Hogwarts, Hermione who was correcting one of Ron’s essay about Io, another of Jupiter’s numerous satellites, when she spotted yet another mistake. She remarked, “And it’s Io that’s gotrepparttar 127673 volcanoes.”

She was right again. Some people (I’ll say including Ron) say that Io looks like a pepperoni pizza becauserepparttar 127674 satellite is dotted with volcanoes. “Io has more pepperoni-coloured volcanoes than Ron Weasley has freckles,” says Dr. Tony Phillips. At this very moment dozens of these volcanoes are vomitingrepparttar 127675 hottest lava inrepparttar 127676 Solar System. The plumes rise so high into space that volcanic ash freezes before falling back torepparttar 127677 ground as sulphurous snow. NASA’s spacecrafts have actually flown through these plumes and survived.

Back on Earth and at Hogwarts more precisely where Hermione told Ron overrepparttar 127678 latter’s shoulder, ‘“Jupiter’s biggest moon is Ganymede, not Callisto.”’

Ganymede isrepparttar 127679 largest known satellite discovered inrepparttar 127680 entire Solar System. It is a little wider than Mercury, which isrepparttar 127681 closest planet torepparttar 127682 Sun inrepparttar 127683 Solar System.

Ron’s mistake is not of those terrible ones though because Callisto is only a little smaller than Ganymede. Like Europa, Callisto may be concealing an ocean.

These four satellites were all discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1960. Galilei was astounded when he observed Jupiter through his primitive telescope as he saw four little ‘stars’ nearrepparttar 127684 giant planet. He was even more amazed when he discovered that these ‘stars’ were moving in what seemed to be an orbit around Jupiter from night to night. Astronomers now call these four natural satellitesrepparttar 127685 Galilean satellites.

Almost everything that is known aboutrepparttar 127686 Galilean satellites comes from NASA’s spacecraft, especiallyrepparttar 127687 two Voyager probes. But Hogwarts is a school of magic whereas Astronomy is simply magic.

K.A.Cassimally is the editor in chief of Astronomy Journal, a small publication of the RCPL Astronomy Club, Mauritius. Check out the new website (to be launched in February 2004): http://www.rcplastronomyclub.zik.mu

Asteroid Attack

Written by K.A.Cassimally

Continued from page 1

But we have to stop these threatening asteroids from hitting Earth so as to ‘save’ ourselves.

In some movies, we see a missile being launched straight towards a big asteroid. The latter then explodes andrepparttar film usually ends. But in reality, it’s not that simple. Did you ever think what might happen torepparttar 127670 biggest remains of that big asteroid? Maybe it would go and enter Earth’s atmosphere or maybe not. If it does pass this first test, maybe it will cause big damages or maybe not. You will agree with me that man cannot take such a risk.

An idea suggests that if a small asteroid is indeed intending to hit Earth, an engine is to be anchored in it. This engine is simply going to pushrepparttar 127671 asteroid away.

Yet another strategy to putrepparttar 127672 asteroid out ofrepparttar 127673 way is to attach solar sails to it. The ‘gentle’ pressure of sunlight onrepparttar 127674 sails will deflectrepparttar 127675 asteroid away from Earth.

Luckily an asteroidrepparttar 127676 size of a football field manages to hitrepparttar 127677 Earth only every thousand years or so but mind you I do not know when such an asteroid did hit Earth last.

K.A.Cassimally is the editor in chief of Astronomy Journal, a small publication of the RCPL Astronomy Club, Mauritius. Here is the new website(to be launched in February 2004): http://www.rcplastronomyclub.zik.mu

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