The Great Red Spot

jupiter

Jupiter’s “Great Red Spot” is an astronomical beauty mark.

But if you think we have bad weather to deal with, consider this. The spot is actually an enormous hurricane with winds over 300 mph. The storm is twice the size of the planet Earth and it’s been raging for at least 150 years.

converted PNM file

We inhabit an amazing universe. I like reminders of that.

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20 comments on “The Great Red Spot

  1. An amazing universe indeed. For more huge planetary and stellar comparisons see:
    https://upload.wikimedia. org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Star-sizes.jpg

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  2. Laurie Graves says:

    Phew! That is some storm. How beautiful it looks from a distance.

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  3. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, we indeed do live in a universe that is amazing. The mere fact that it all stays in balance is incredible. Any one thing that would change in a small way would throw everything out of balance. The earth is the most beautiful planet in the solar system and even as far as we can see beyond the solar system. Earth is the oasis in the solar system built just for Mankind to exist. Even in the fallen state it’s an amazing creation for us to enjoy. Mankind in their infinitesimal wisdom has not been kind to this world and yet it still functions quite well. It seems that the creator built in things that would correct the bad things that happen. Earth has survived volcanoes, ice ages, floods, earth quakes, and even a couple giant meteor hits and still remains the best place to live for as far as we can see into space. Mankind is indeed blessed.

    Wesley had some unique ideas about food for even back in the 17 hundreds. “Recovering a Wesley Food Ethic” has been the most thought provoking chapter yet. It has made me analyze and contemplate my eating habits and quite frankly I’ve failed miserably. Wesley makes it quite clear that he doesn’t want anyone to think that there is a set of food rules to attain spirituality but at the same time he does think it is a sin to eat food that’s not ethical. Even food that’s completely good and nutritious but grown and harvested by slave labor would be considered non negotiable food to eat. Wesley doesn’t have too much good to say about the church’s involvement with ethical eating and I would have to agree. Somewhere along the line churches have lost the connection between food and taking care of God’s temple, our body. It’s so true that the condition of health in the church has limited what some people can do to help others. The point of why churches don’t adress this issue was right on. Who would want to deliver a message about healthful eating when you yourself are over weight and many in the congregation are over weight.

    I have said before that there at least three Methodist churches in my city that I know of that have set aside church property for community gardens. It’s not just for church members but any one who wants to have an allotment. I’ve not talked with any of the people that attend church there nor have I talked with any pastors from Methodist churches. Perhaps that spark of Wesley still continues in some of the Methodist churches. Never has a sermon touched on this subject in any churches that I’ve attended. I’m really not sure that Wesley’s dream of a sweeping change in food ethics is any closer to becoming reality than 200 years ago but still there is a movement that is alive and well that considers ethical food important.

    Have a great amazing creation day.

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    • Bill says:

      The fact that so many delicate natural balances and forces line up perfectly for the existence of human life is called the Anthropic Principle, and it is a fascinating and amazing reality. Lots of fodder not only for scientists, but philosophers and theologians as well.

      I’m really glad you’re enjoying the book Dave and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts as you read it. The last 2 chapters are quite a bit different from the first 8. I enjoyed writing them, especially the last chapter. I wrote that one on the advice of the publisher. Obviously there wasn’t anything like it in my thesis. I’m starting to hear from folks who are reading or teaching from the book (including pastors) and that’s a good feeling.

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  4. EllaDee says:

    I love night sky gazing at the moon & stars, astrology, although haven’t ventured much interest in astronomy or space travel. But I’m reading Chris Hatfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, finding it fascinating, opening up a different world as does your pics and info on Jupiter’s beauty spot 🙂

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  5. smcasson says:

    ! Change of pace here, at least as long as I’ve been reading. I love space. Just so cool to think of the scale of things. I don’t get (make?) enough time to stay up and stargaze. I really look forward to doing that with my kiddos.

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  6. shoreacres says:

    As it happens, I just bumped into this little compendium of really cool space sites — everything from sky maps to who knows what? It’s amazing how many resources are available.

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    • Bill says:

      Very cool. A long long time ago I subscribed to Sky and Telescope magazine and I repeated checked A Primer for Stargazers out of the school library. Now I have a free smart phone app that lets me point my phone at the sky (night or day) and it will identify the stars, planets, constellations, etc. Truly amazing. Yet is seems that as fast we are capturing information, the universe is dealing out new surprises. We now know (or at least think we do) that the universe is composed mostly of dark matter and dark energy. 25 years ago we didn’t even know those things existed and we still don’t even know what they are.

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      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        According to the host of CBC radio’s science show, Quirks & Quarks, Bob McDonald – who said only a couple of days ago – “‘Dark matter’ is a Scientist’s code for “we don’t know!” (to which I add, yet; ). Btw, the gang @ Q&Q are currently celebrating their 40th anniversary. WooHoo!

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  7. Dearest Bill,
    With our tiny, human mind it all goes way above our ability to capture the enormity of the universe! ENDLESS has a meaning all in itself.
    One can only admire all that and one also has to admit that there is a Creator, an Upper Being, way beyond our imagination.
    Hugs and happy weekend.
    Mariette

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    • Bill says:

      The vastness of the universe is certainly mind boggling. So is the behavior of the smallest known things too. I find it fascinating that even as our knowledge of the world increases at an accelerating pace, there is so much still to learn.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    The comparative photo not only looks like a potter mixing up a bucket of glaze; it also puts me in mind of a song. (Couldn’t find the original on YouTube): but here are the lyrics, at least… http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Five_Man_Electrical_Band:I'm_A_Stranger_Here
    @NebraskaDave: Even with the built in tolerances, the earth can only be pushed so far… We need to start treating the (entire) planet as if it’s our home (what a concept?!) and not as a dump for our garbage. High time to let others know that this is unacceptable behaviour. If it’s working for cigarettes, why not our home?

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