According to astronomers, just this past Monday morning, at approximately 11:35:30 UT, an event occurred that conceivably could have transformed all of Earth into little more than a crispy, overly-cooked smore drifting lifelessly through the Milky Way. At that time, onlookers caught sight of a brief but powerful flash in the upper reaches of the cloudy atmosphere of the planet Jupiter. If current analysis is correct, this gaseous giant saved Earth from a devastating collision, and now you, everyone you know, and the population of Earth in general owe the planet of Jupiter big time.
First reports of the "impact flash" is believed to have come from fledgling astronomer Dan Pertersen, who viewed the event on his Meade 12 LX200 GPS telescope and a binoviewer, and estimated that the explosion was at least 100 miles in diameter. Now we at Mindhut may not have the cosmic knowledge of say, Neal Degrasse Tyson, but we think it's safe to say that if a meteor of that size were to make contact with the Earth's atmosphere it would have been akin to what it would have been like if Bruce Willis and company didn't save us at the end of Armageddon, and Aerosmith definitely wouldn't have been there to sing us a power ballad as fires scorched the Earth, and tsunamis ravaged the coastlines on the opposite end of the globe.
It turns out that this isn't the first time Jupiter has taken a hit for the team. In fact, scientists say that although this is possibly the greatest save this planet has afforded us in years, Jupiter's tremendous gravitational pull has shielded us from potential collisions several times in just the past three years. Noted astronomer Alan Boyle recently had this to say:
"Jupiter impacts are of great interest to astronomers, amateur and professional, because they're part of the orbital billiards game that has shaped our solar system. In some cases, the cosmic interloper is destroyed before it has any visible effect on Jupiter's cloud tops. In weightier cases, the object breaks up and leaves black marks on the planet's atmosphere. The case of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994 is the most notable in recent memory. Beyond the planetary science, there's the 'phew' factor: Astronomers suspect that giant Jupiter's gravitational pull serves as a cosmic shield, sweeping up incoming objects that would have a deadlier effect if they were to slam into our planet. Some scientists say that without Jupiter, life on Earth wouldn't have had much of a chance."
So the question remains, how exactly do we repay this debt that every single human owes to the planet Jupiter? At this point, he's kind of like Earth's equivalent of the black-eyed hockey goalie that's lost ninety percent of his teeth through repeated hockey pucks to the face. What exactly do you get a gas giant like Jupiter to say thank you?
A Hallmark card?
I'm not superstitious, but perhaps we should make an offering to the God of Jupiter just in case he exists and is need of appeasement. Maybe a burnt offering of some sort, including some Tang, a Stormtrooper costume, and some old Space Jam DVDs? One thing is for sure. I'm definitely going to stop worshipping Uranus, I mean what has that planet done for us lately?
What's your favorite planet?