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Yael DragwylaFirst North American rightsemail: polaris93@aol.com
Volume II: The Magickal Sky
Part 2: The Planets
Chapter 6: JupiterSection 1: General Discussion
Jupiter is the largest known Planet in the Solar System. Together with His swarming satellites, manyof which were unknown to us before the
fly-by space-probes of this gigantic Planet, He re-creates the Solar System in miniature. How understandable it is that the Greeks and the Romans believedhim to be the King of the Gods!In ascending order of orbital distance from Sol, Jupiter is the fifth Planet, orbiting Sol at an averagedistance of 7.78 x 10
km. His orbit is not somewhat irregular, varying from 8.2 x 10
km at aphelion to7.4 x 10
km at perihelion. It takes Him About 4,332.59 terrestrial days, or 11.86 terrestrial years, tocomplete one orbit about the Sun.His mean synodic period (the average time it takes Him to go from one opposition to the Sun to thenext, as viewed from Earth) is 398.3 dayr, a little over 13 months.His rotational period is very short compared to that of our world; the Jovian day is about 10terrestrial hours long. This gives Him a rather pronounced equatorial bulge, so that He has an ellipsoidalor oblate shape. In consequence, His equatorial diameter is 1.4 x 10
km, while His polar diameter isonly 1.3 x 10
km. His axial inclination is very small, only 3.12 degrees from the vertical.**In contrast, that of Earth is some 23 degrees from the vertical, and that of Uranus is more than 90degrees from the vertical (relative to the other Planets in the Solar System, Uranus’s rotation isupside-down and backward, yet another deviation from the average of the Lord of Deviance!).His equatorial diameter is 142,800 km, giving Him a volume 1,323 times that of the Earth. ThoughHis mass is enormous, His average density is actually rather low, indicating that He is primarilycomposed of light elements, mostly hydrogen and helium, in the form of gases and liquids. All of Hisfeatures visible to us are composed of clouds; it still isn’t clear whether He has a solid core or not.* Hismass is 1.899 x 10
kg, some 318 times that of our world, and accounts for more than two-thirds of thetotal mass of all the Planets of the Solar System combined. As He moves sedately through His endlessdance around Sol, His gravitational field exercises considerable drag not only upon the other Planets inthe Solar System, but also upon Sol Himself. So strong is Jupiter’s gravitational influence upon Sol thatobservers far from the Solar System, who knew of it only what they could see through high-power telescopes and couldn’t see any of the individual Planets in the system, could easily deduce the presenceof at least once such Planetary satellite of our Star by the perturbations which Jupiter’s enormous massinduces in Sol’s motion through the universe.**
*As of this writing, in mid-1996 e.v., data collected from the Galileo probe may bring us closer tosettling this question once and for all.**In fact, this is exactly how terrestrial astronomers have succeeded in determining the existence Planetsorbiting other Stars in our galaxy. See, e.g., Robert Naeye, “Is This Planet for Real?”,
, March 1996 (Vol. 24, No. 3), pp. 34-41, concerning the probable existence of Planets with masses on the order of that of Jupiter or larger in orbit around the Star 51 Pegasi.His density is 1.32 times that of Earth, so that His escape velocity is 59.6 km/s, more than 5 timesour Planet’s. Accordingly, it would take more than 28 times the energy to lift a body completely out of Jupiter’s gravitational field than it would to take it from the surface of the Earth into interplanetary space.His albedo is 34%, so that He is extremely bright.* Even at His faintest, He is far brighter thanSirius, the brightest of the Fixed Stars visible from Earth.*Though he isn’t the brightest of the Planets. That honor is reserved for Venus. Jupiter’s maximummagnitude is -2.6, whereas Venus’s is -4.4. See Part 2, Chapter 4, Section 1 of this volume for more about the physical characteristics of Venus.His surface presents a number of fascinating features. The most famous of these is the Great RedSpot, which has existed for more than three centuries, at least. Originally, observers believed the Spot to be a kind of giant volcano, its brilliant red color due to eruptions of red-hot material. Eventually thistheory was shown to be untenable, and was replaced by a model that hypothesized that the Spot wassome sort of solid floating in Jupiter’s dense atmosphere, an egg will float in a saline solution. For awhile another theory, first put forward by R. Hide in 1963, gained acceptance. According to this theory,the Great Red Spot is actually the top of a Taylor column, a relatively stagnant column of fluid formedabove an obstacle in a rotating fluid. Hide proposed that some feature on Jupiter’s (hypothetical) surfacecould be acting as an obstacle to Jupiter’s rotating atmosphere, thus producing a Taylor column in Hisatmosphere. Finally, from the data collected from the
fly-bys, a much more accurate picture of this and other features of Jupiter’s surface has been put together. The Spot seems to be an elevated high- pressure region, a sort of standing-wave pattern in Jupiter’s atmosphere created and maintained bycontinuous replacement of material lost to it from upward movement through convergence of material far  below Jupiter’s ever-present cloud-deck. The new material apparently spirals upward slowly into thecirculating system of the Spot, then flows outward again at the level of the cloud-tops.Other Jovian features of interest include the South Tropical Disturbance, the South Tropical ZoneCirculating Current, and the South Equatorial Belt Disturbances. The South Tropical Disturbance, which persisted from 1900 until about 1940, when it finally faded away, developed from some dark humpsexxtending from the South Equatorial Belt into the South Tropical Zone, which finally formed a shadedarea throughout the South Tropical Zone. The other two features similarly constituted transitory beltsflowing around the Jupiter at different latitudes. Jupiter’s appearance is constantly changing, with manysuch features forming and disappearing, but these have been the longest-lasting, best-known ones. Sinceso far we can see only the top of Jupiter’s atmosphere, nothing beneath it, we have yet to see what sort of solid surface, if any, He has beneath His massive atmosphere. It isnow believed that He contains arelatively small rocky core covered by a thin layer of liquid metallic hydrogen, surrounded by a shell of liquid molecular hydrogen, all of which is enclosed by the massive, crushing cocoon of hydrogen andhelium constituting His atmosphere.Like Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, Jupiter has an extremely strong magnetic field. Unlike Saturn,Who seems to be unique among the Planets of the Solar System in that the axis of His magnetic field
corresponds almost exactly to His axis of rotation, the axis of Jupiter’s magnetic field is inclined to Hisaxis of rotation by about 11 degrees. It is possible that His enormous magnetic field is responsible for much of His influence upon us, and that at least some of the differences in the various astrologicalinfluences upon terrestrial life of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune reflect differences in Their magnetic fields.**Though Saturn’s magnetic field is closely aligned with His axis of rotation, the former is significantlydisplaced toward His North rotational pole, is center being about 2,400 km North of Saturn’scenter of mass. Uranus and Neptune have magnetic fields which are not only tilted considerablyaway from Their axes of rotation, but are also significantly displaced from the centers of mass of these Planets, more so for Neptune than Uranus. How this affects us is not clear; but certainlyJupiter’s enormous magnetic field, like his gravitation, must have a profound effect upon Sol’sown electromagnetic fields all by itself, and clearly all four of these Titanic Planets must addvarious important characteristics to the overall electromagnetic field of the Solar System. Sincethe latter, especially Sol’s portion of it, is responsible for much, if not all, of the effects predicted by astrology, certainly the various electromagnetic phenomena associated with thesegreat Planets are of critical importance in this respect. As a result, the nature of theelectromagnetic fields of each of these four giant Planets is almost certain to reflect closely theknown astrological influence of that Planet upon terrestrial life in general and ourselves in particular.Jupiter radiates strongly in the infrared and longer wavelengths. The most intense such activityoccurs at wavelengths measured in tens of meters (referred to as “decametric” emissions). Thedecametric emissions are not continuous, but are rather characterized by strong bursts at sporadicintervals, and are probably due mostly to the interactions of Jupiter with His Moon Io. Jupiter emitsother forms of radiation, including a great deal of heat. In fact, He emits so much heat that clearly muchof this heat, rather than being merely re-radiated Solar energy, must be generated within His vast bulk by processes that we don’t yet completely understand. Some have theorized that Jupiter is a “brown dwarf,”a body too small to evolve into a normal Star but more than large enough to generate heat within itself bygravitational pressure on its own core. But others calculate that the minimum mass necessary for a bodyto be a true brown dwarf is far larger than that of Jupiter. Whatever the reason for Jupiter’s curiouslyhigh output of thermal radiation, discovering it will teach us a great deal about the nature and origin of all the Planets.Like Saturn, Jupiter has a ring-system, but His is much smaller and far less spectacular than Saturn’s beautiful attendant rings. Jupiter’s rings lie well within the classical Roche limit for the break-up of aliquid body under His enormous gravitational forces. So it is likely that Jupiter’s rings are made up of relatively high-density rocky material and dust, rather than the icy material of which Saturn’s rings arecomposed. Jupiter’s recently discovered inner satellites, 1979 J-1 and 1979 J-3, help to maintain Hisrings in their current form. 1979 J-1 is situated at the outer edge of Jupiter’s system of rings. As itmoves around its primary, it sweeps up magnetospheric particles in that region, thereby maintaining asharp edge on the system.Jupiter has around 20 known satellites. Four of these are the size of respectible, if small Planets,themselves. Discovered by Galileo in 1610 e.v., they are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.Amalthea, the fifth of Jupiter’s known satellites, was discovered telescopically in 1892 e.v. All theothers have been discovered in the twentieth century, three of them – 1979 J-1 (since named Adrastea),1979 J-2, and 1979 J-3 – as a result of the
fly-bys. These last three of Jupiter’s Moons haveorbits within that of Io. Beyond Callisto, the outermost of the Galilean satellites, there are eight moresmall satellites which may originally have been asteroids, captured by Jupiter’s enormous gravitationalfield from their original orbits around Sol. In order of increasing distance from Jupiter, their names areLeda, Himalia, Lysithea, Elara, Ananke, Carme, Pasiphae, and Sinope.

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