I’m mostly posting on this because it’s such a fantastic photo from the Cassini probe (Source: Daily Galaxy).  The article is pretty incredible too:

Jupiter, the most massive planet in our solar system — with dozens of moons and an enormous magnetic field — resembles a star in composition, but it did not grow big enough to ignite. The planet’s swirling cloud stripes are broken by storms, the most massive being the Great Red Spot, which has raged for hundreds of years.

New thermal images from powerful ground-based telescopes show swirls of warmer air and cooler regions never seen before within Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, which has persisted for as long as 200 to 350 years, based on early telescopic observations, enabling scientists to make the first detailed interior weather map of the giant storm system.The observations reveal that the reddest color of the Great Red Spot corresponds to a warm core within the otherwise cold storm system, and images show dark lanes at the edge of the storm where gases are descending into the deeper regions of the planet. These types of data, detailed in a paper appearing in the journal Icarus, give scientists a sense of the circulation patterns within the solar system’s best-known storm system.

“This is our first detailed look inside the biggest storm of the solar system,” said Glenn Orton, a senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., who was one of the authors of the paper. “We once thought the Great Red Spot was a plain old oval without much structure, but these new results show that it is, in fact, extremely complicated.”

It’s a stretch  to tie this in to astrology (sometimes a cigar is, after all, just a cigar) but I’m going to attempt to do just that.  I have always felt that the astrological Jupiter is a bit of a comic book planet, treated rather like Santa Claus or a big fat happy bringer of all good things.  In reality, as you know if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, Jupiter has a deep complexity that belies its reputation as a good guy.

I wrote about the darker side of Jupiter just last week when he turned retrograde so I really like the image described here of a deep storm that has been going on for perhaps hundreds of years.  But at the same time Jupiter has sufficient mass and power that it was almost a star – just as the astrological Jupiter is in some ways like a second Sun.  We must honor the energy of the Sun in our charts to feel nourished and alive; we must honor the energy of Jupiter to feel whole and with a sense that our lives on Earth have meaning.

And anyway, what a cool photograph!

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