Thursday, July 23, 2009

495)Jupiter Takes It On The Chin:Images Suggest An Object Has Recently Struck The Giant Planet;Quotes Of Noble Quran, Prophet Muhammad and Aga Khan IV

Jupiter takes it on the chin
Images suggest an object has recently struck the giant planet

By Ron Cowen
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

EnlargeTelling scar
This infrared image taken by the Keck II telescope on July 20 shows a scar on Jupiter that was first glimpsed on July 19 and has grown to an area about the size of the Pacific Ocean. P. Kalas/UCB; M. Fitzgerald/LLNL, UCB; F. Marchis/SETI Institute, UCB; J. Graham/UCB

Jupiter has taken another hit.

A new scar in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere reveals that an object has recently bashed the giant planet’s south polar region. The strike is only the second time in recorded history that a large projectile has been known to strike a giant planet.

The discovery comes 15 years after fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter and created a memorable display of dark spots, waves and plumes.

This infrared image taken on July 20 shows that a large projectile has recently struck Jupiter’s south polar region, creating a scar in its atmosphere (bright spot, lower left) and kicking up debris. Infrared Telescope Facility/JPL/NASA

Amateur and professional astronomers around the globe are now training telescopes on the planet to study the evolution of the new scar and to determine if the projectile is part of a series of fragments that might create an extended spectacle over the next week, notes planetary scientist Hal Weaver of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. The newly refurbished Hubble Space Telescope will soon join the effort, says Matt Mountain, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md.

It’s unclear whether the projectile was a comet or an asteroid, Weaver says, but the size of the scar in Jupiter’s atmosphere suggests the body had a diameter of a few hundred meters, similar to of Shoemaker-Levy 9’s smaller fragments.

Using a small visible-light telescope, amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley of Murrumbateman, Australia, first spotted Jupiter’s new scar on July 19. Glenn Orton of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and his colleagues, already viewing Jupiter at NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, captured an image on July 20 confirming the scar.

Additional infrared images taken with the Keck II telescope on Mauna Kea reveal a bright spot near Jupiter’s south pole that is about 200 million square kilometers — an area roughly the size of the Pacific Ocean. Frank Marchis of the University of California, Berkeley, described the image in a July 21 International Astronomical Union telegram.

Previous impact on Jupiter, 1992/1993:
Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was the ninth short-periodic comet discovered by Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker and David Levy. It was first detected on a photograph taken on the night of March 24, 1993, with the 0.4-meter Schmidt telescope on Palomar Mountain in California. The magnitude of the comet's brightness was reported as 14, more than a thousand times too faint to be seen with the naked eye. The existence of this object was soon confirmed by James V. Scotti of the Spacewatch program at the University of Arizona.Through the observations and efforts of Brian G. Marsden and other astronomers, the comet's orbit was demonstrated to be around Jupiter and that it had made a very close approach to Jupiter on July 7, 1992. During this close approach, the unequal Jupiter gravitational attractions on the comet's near and far sides broke the fragile object apart. On March 27, an image was taken with the 2.2-m telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii that showed as many as 17 separate sub-nuclei strung out like pearls on a string 50 arc seconds long.

Quotes of Noble Quran, Prophet Muhammad and Aga Khan IV:

Chapter 21, Verse 30: Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together before We clove them asunder, and of water fashioned every thing? Will they not then believe?(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

Chapter 51, verse 47: We built the heavens with might, and We expand it wide(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

Chapter79, verse 30: And then he gave the earth an oval form(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

"One hour of contemplation on the works of the Creator is better than a thousand hours of prayer"(Prophet Muhammad, circa 632CE)

"The ink of the scholar is better than the blood of the martyr"(Prophet Muhammad, circa 632CE)

"Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave"(Prophet Muhammad, circa 632CE)

"Seek knowledge, even in China"(Prophet Muhammad, circa 632CE)

"God has given us the miracle of life with all its attributes: the extraordinary manifestations of sunrise and sunset, of sickness and recovery, of birth and death, but surely if He has given us the means with which to remove ourselves from this world so as to go to other parts of the Universe, we can but accept as further manifestations the creation and destructions of stars, the birth and death of atomic particles, the flighting new sound and light waves. I am afraid that the torch of intellectual discovery, the attraction of the unknown, the desire for intellectual self-perfection have left us"(Aga Khan IV,Speech, 1963, Mindanao, Phillipines)

"Our religious leadership must be acutely aware of secular trends, including those generated by this age of science and technology. Equally, our academic or secular elite must be deeply aware of Muslim history, of the scale and depth of leadership exercised by the Islamic empire of the past in all fields"(Aga Khan IV, 6th February 1970, Hyderabad, Pakistan)

"Indeed, one strength of Islam has always lain in its belief that creation is not static but continuous, that through scientific and other endeavours, God has opened and continues to open new windows for us to see the marvels of His creation"(Aga Khan IV, Aga Khan University, 16 March 1983, Karachi, Pakistan)

About the United States of America: "I'm less hypnotized by this country's material wealth than by its wealth of knowledge. This country today represents, without any doubt in my mind, the greatest intensity of human knowledge on the face of the earth. And that is an exhilarating thought, one perhaps not perceived by Americans as much as by non-Americans"(Aga Khan IV, LIFE magazine interview, December 1983)

"In this context, would it not also be relevant to consider how, above all, it has been the Qur'anic notion of the universe as an expression of Allah's will and creation that has inspired, in diverse Muslim communities, generations of artists, scientists and philosophers? Scientific pursuits, philosophic inquiry and artistic endeavour are all seen as the response of the faithful to the recurring call of the Qur'an to ponder the creation as a way to understand Allah's benevolent majesty. As Sura al-Baqara proclaims: 'Wherever you turn, there is the face of Allah'.The famous verse of 'light' in the Qur'an, the Ayat al-Nur, whose first line is rendered here in the mural behind me, inspires among Muslims a reflection on the sacred, the transcendent. It hints at a cosmos full of signs and symbols that evoke the perfection of Allah's creation and mercy"(Aga Khan IV,Speech, Institute of Ismaili Studies, October 2003, London, U.K.)

"Astronomy, the so-called “Science of the Universe” was a field of particular distinction in Islamic civilization-–in sharp contrast to the weakness of Islamic countries in the field of Space research today. In this field, as in others, intellectual leadership is never a static condition, but something which is always shifting and always dynamic"(Aga Khan IV, Convocation, American University of Cairo, Cairo, Egypt, June 15th 2006)

"......The Quran tells us that signs of Allah’s Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation - in the heavens and the earth, the night and the day, the clouds and the seas, the winds and the waters...."(Aga Khan IV, Kampala, Uganda, August 22 2007)

"The second great historical lesson to be learnt is that the Muslim world has always been wide open to every aspect of human existence. The sciences, society, art, the oceans, the environment and the cosmos have all contributed to the great moments in the history of Muslim civilisations. The Qur’an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God’s creation"(Closing Address by His Highness Aga Khan IV at the "Musée-Musées" Round Table Louvre Museum, Paris, France, October 17th 2007)

"The United States' position as a world leader, in my view, grows directly out of its accomplishments as a Knowledge Society - and this Knowledge - rightly applied - can continue to be a resource of enormous global value"(Aga Khan IV, Austin, Texas, USA, 12 April 2008)

"As we use our intellect to gain new knowledge about Creation, we come to see even more profoundly the depth and breadth of its mysteries. We explore unknown regions beneath the seas – and in outer space. We reach back over hundreds of millions of years in time. Extra-ordinary fossilised geological specimens seize our imagination – palm leaves, amethyst flowers, hedgehog quartz, sea lilies, chrysanthemum and a rich panoply of shells. Indeed, these wonders are found beneath the very soil on which we tread – in every corner of the world – and they connect us with far distant epochs and environments.
And the more we discover, the more we know, the more we penetrate just below the surface of our normal lives – the more our imagination staggers. Just think for example what might lie below the surfaces of celestial bodies all across the far flung reaches of our universe. What we feel, even as we learn, is an ever-renewed sense of wonder, indeed, a powerful sense of awe – and of Divine inspiration"(Aga Khan IV, Ottawa, Canada, December 6th 2008)

The above are 17 quotes and excerpts taken from Blogpost Four Hundred, a collection of around 100 quotes on the subjects of Knowledge, Intellect, Creation, Science and Religion:

Easy Nash

The Qur'an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
The Quran tells us that signs of Allah's Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
This notion of the capacity of the human intellect to understand and to admire the creation of Allah will bring you happiness in your everyday lives: Aga Khan IV(2007)
Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2006)
The Holy Qu'ran's encouragement to study nature and the physical world around us gave the original impetus to scientific enquiry among Muslims: Aga Khan IV(1985)
The first and only thing created by God was the Intellect(Aql): Prophet Muhammad(circa 632CE)