Brave New Jupiter


NASA’s Juno spacecraft traveling towards Jupiter.

Physics World
July 2016
Volume 29 No 2

Image Explanation
The image shown above is of NASA’s Juno spacecraft that had been barreling towards its final destination of Jupiter, which landed successfully on July 4th of 2016 (when this specific magazine was published, Juno was still on its way to Jupiter).  Juno’s mission is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter as well as measure water and other elements in deep atmosphere, map magnetic fields, and look for Jupiter’s planetary core.

My Reaction
When flipping through the Physics World magazine (in print), this image caught my attention mainly because I have always been interested in the developments and progress NASA and other companies have been making out in space.  I was able to recognize just by looking at the image that it was Jupiter in the background and I was able to assume the article that followed was about some mission to explore Jupiter.  When I look at this image, I think about how far we have come and how technology has advanced so much.  This image makes me think there are no limits to what we can accomplish and nowhere we won’t be able to eventually go.  This image makes me believe that eventually we will be able “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no man has gone before” (Star Trek).

Stranger Reaction
When I asked my stranger what she thought of this image, she was unable to recognize which planet was in the image, but she was able to assume it was a mission to explore and understand one of the planets in our solar system.  Although less interested in space exploration, she too was impressed by the progress companies such as NASA, SpaceX and others have made with this technology that allows us to travel and spend time on other planets for years at a time.  When I asked her how this image made her feel, she said “optimistic,” meaning there is so much more here on Earth and in the Universe that has yet to be discovered.

Stranger Description
I found my stranger in Salsarita’s and she was more than willing to give me her thoughts on the image shown above.  She is 21 years of age and is in her 4th year of study towards a degree in Chemical Engineering at RIT.  She has done two co-ops thus far and is currently trying to get a co-op somewhere in Europe.  She has already been all over the world with her family and she was able to give me a lot of additional advice for my month long European trip come graduation, which was awesome.

Comparison between Reactions
As I mentioned above, my stranger was less interested in space exploration than I, but I think our reactions to this image were fairly similar.  We were both amazed about the advances society and these large companies have made and were optimistic for the future.  We agreed that there was so much out there in the world that has yet to be discovered/invented and there are truly no limits as to what we can accomplish, both individually and as a whole.

My Stranger


4th year Chemical Engineering student at RIT


5 thoughts on “Brave New Jupiter

  1. Hello JonPrice,

    I enjoyed your illustration for this week. I too am interested in the developments and progress NASA and other companies have been making out in space. I feel as though my reaction is similar to yours even though I do not have access to the magazine. I agree that we have come so far in the technological world. This image is just one of thousands that proves the “sky is the limit” for today’s world. Your image and reaction reminded me of the whole life on MARS project. They are trying to set up huts from what I have read and bring people up there to try and start cycles of life on the planet. Like we both mentioned, we have come so far that we are trying to bring life to different planets. It leaves me speechless thinking about that. I believe that your reactions were similar because when you take a minute to think about the image and what this world has done, you have to be appreciative of what we have accomplished up to this point in time.

    In the reading this week, it also talked about images in general and how images play an important role in science. An example I used is how today, we have imaging X rays. We would not be able to see the bone structure without taking images of an injured area. Being a hockey player, this is a life savior as it helps rules out certain injuries quickly after being hurt. We also have MRIs and ultrasound, which is also interesting. I believe that having that along with images out in space are relatable and show how far we have come like you mentioned. To see bone structures through X rays or tendons through MRIs or babies through ultrasound, or as your illustration provided, an image from out in space; we are advancing so fast and I agree with you that there is so much out in the world that has yet to be discovered/invented. I believe this is just “the beginning” and definitely not the end. I hope that I am around for many years to come to witness how far imaging in science takes us.

    Good Work!

    Todd Skirving

  2. Who doesnt know Jupiter by the size and that big red spot!?
    Ha! I have always been a science and astronomy nerd, I am really surprised though, Jupiter seems iconic. I agree that it is an optimistic image. I love thinking about space and everything that could be out there. Especially with all this crazy election stuff going on and threats of a third world war, it is comforting to think about what is outside of this craziness!

    I hope your travels go well! Europe is beautiful!!

  3. That image says it all and from the reading, I was able to say that it is Jupiter however they are trying to explore Jupiter to determine what is going out there in comparison on Earth especially with the Hurricane Matthew devastating the path which can be seen from outer space. Images tells you a story but in depth, an example of the hurricane is showing the damages, flooding, and etc wherebout on Jupiter you do not know what goes on. I am not a space person nor am I familiar with the astronomy field but it caught my eye when I saw the image. It does say technology has came a long way to be able to explore things for us and into depth where we have never gone before.

  4. Upon reading your post, I realized that visuals have the power to inspire awe, and amazement into the masses. Often when one studies and is well immersed in a particular field, one will find certain facts, and materials amazing. However, without the prior back-knowledge, and context it is hard to understand why that certain subject is so fascinating. This is where the power of visuals has a role. Visuals can easily share this amazement to the masses without the prior knowledge, just like in this photo.

  5. First off, I love this image. I was really surprised that she didn’t recognize Jupiter (especially being a chemical engineer!) but I guess outer space just isn’t as attention-grabbing for some people. This is the perfect image to be on a physics magazine.

    I really like looking at pictures of space so this magazine would catch my eye if I saw it somewhere, even though I certainly am not interested in physics.

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