How massive is Jupiter?

By Anupum Pant

If you combined the masses of all the planets in the solar system, that would still weigh almost less than half of Jupiter’s mass. That’s heavy. So heavy, that effectively when it tries to revolve around the sun, it also makes the sun revolve around it a little. That is to say, both these massive bodies revolve around a common point, called a barycenter. The barycenter for the sun and the Jupiter lies just outside of the sun! Almost on the surface. At about 1.068 times the radius of the sun.

“Jupiter’s mass is 2.5 times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined—this is so massive that its barycenter with the Sun lies above the Sun’s surface at 1.068 solar radii from the Sun’s center. Jupiter is much larger than Earth and considerably less dense: its volume is that of about 1,321 Earths, but it is only 318 times as massive.”


Telescope on the Moon

By Anupum Pant

When the Chinese unmanned lunar exploration mission Chang’e 3, landed its first lunar rover on the moon in 2013, not many people knew this. But it’s coming to light just now with a new report published that shows they’ve have had a UV telescope on the moon all along.

The telescope has recorded thousands of hours of observations. And has also been able to record an impressive UV image of a galaxy that is 21 million light years away – Pinwheel Galaxy.

The robotic telescope has worked for an impressive 2 years now and has captured some really good data which couldn’t have been possible from any telescope on the earth. That’s mostly because of two reasons.

1. Earth’s atmosphere is too thick to allow detectable UV light from distant celestial objects.

2. Moon spins 27 times slower than the earth so it is possible to make the telescope focus at a single object and collect light for a lot more time than it can do on earth.

Paid to Smell

By Anupum Pant

George Aldrich has probably one of the strangest jobs on the planet. His job is to smell. George smells everything and anything, even the worst smells. And guess whom he works for?
He works for NASA! The space agency. Everything that is taken into space, George smells it. He makes sure it is safe to be taken inside the capsule that will be leaving for space. He’s been doing it for more than 3 decades.
If it wasn’t for George, manned missions to space wouldn’t have been very successful.