Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What's big, gaseous and stormy?

Emory’s Math and Science Center is now the planet Jupiter in the Metro-Atlanta Scale Model Solar System (MASS). Check out the new exhibit in the second floor atrium of the building, including depictions of Jupiter and its relation to the other planets.

MASS is the brainchild of the Bradley Observatory at Agnes Scott College
, to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy. The idea is to help Atlanta residents understand the size and scale of our solar system by mapping it to local landmarks. Starting with the Bradley Observatory as the sun, and working outwards, the downtown Decatur Library becomes the Earth, the Columbia Theological Seminary becomes Mars, and Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, also known as the "gas giant," is Emory’s MSC.

Which planet do you think is at Georgia Tech? Check out the full MASS map.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and has a diameter 11 times bigger than the Earth. The planet’s most famous feature, the Great Red Spot, is an anticyclonic storm.

NASA is planning a mission to study Jupiter, via the spacecraft Juno, to launch in 2011.

Take the New York Times "Beautiful Universe Astronomy Quiz." The Atlanta solar system is featured in the extra credit questions.

Photo of Jupiter and solar system montage courtesy of NASA.

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