'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008


Strong winds and rain here today put me in mind of the big red eye storm on Jupiter - more than 300 years old, and twice as big as Earth, is (relatively) common knowledge.  

However recently another 2 storms are brewing - Red Spot Jnr. and little Red Spot.  (Scientists think these storms turn red when they reach velocities that suck up material from lower down in the atmosphere.)

Given that Jupiter is about 1,300 times bigger than Earth but rotates on its axis every ten hours, there is enormous turbulence, especially around the equator.  Estimates of the wind speeds within the red storms varies between 350 and 600 kilometres per hour.   


  1. No, YP, it DOESN'T go as fast as in the movie. Just in case you were going to comment on that, thought I'd forestall you. :-P

  2. I have read that we on earth should be very grateful for Jupiter. Its gravitational pull is so huge that any random asteroids entering our solar system are attracted to and swallowed up by this gas giant,thus taking them out of the firing line of planet Earth.

    Jupiter also reminds me of a book called 'Jupiter's Travels' which is now a classic tale of an adventurous Englishman who rode a Triumph Motorcycle around the world in the early 1970's - a great story. Interestingly he retraced his route a few years ago aged 70 years .

  3. My grasp on science is tenuous, but I am very interested in it. Thanks for an informative post on Jupiter.

    Good to know it's vacuuming up asteroids, too! Now, the question is, how many asteroids does it have to collect before they affect the behaviour of the planet? Do they get compacted into the core and become part of Jupiter? Over time this will surely make Jupiter more dense and even bigger ... will this have an effect on the atmosphere too?

    Told you my grasp on scientific matters was tenuous...