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Galileo Would Be Amazed!

November 22, 2009

Galileo Avenue at the Canberra DSN station with DSS43

Galileo Galilei would be amazed at what is happening around the Earth today.

The three stations of NASA’s Deep Space Network – located in California, USA; Canberra, Australia; and Madrid, Spain – are working together to perform some very big science. To Galileo, what we are doing may appear to be something akin to magic!

‘Seeing’ Jupiter in a way that he would have perhaps never conceived, the radio astronomers at each station are providing a ‘view’ of the gas giant that nevertheless would inspire him as much as his own first views through his small optical telescope.

Four hundred years ago, that first ‘look’ changed the way we see our universe. We look back at that moment as something historic and his telescopic view quaint by today’s standards.

Maybe 400 years from now, people will look back at the way we followed Jupiter for 24 hours and think that both historic and quaint, then turn their eyes back to the window to watch the cloudtops of Jupiter and its Great Red Spot glide silently past as their spacecraft sails onwards .

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