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Juno Meets her Brother Jupiter and his Four Moons

Space probe Juno has captured for the first time ever in video the four Galilean moons of Jupiter orbiting the planet. The footage, an incredibly moving sight to behold, is the first of its kind too for another reason: It is the first time ever that we see images of celestial bodies moving against each other. It has taken us four centuries since Galileo Galilei with his telescope saw the satellites and reckoned, correctly as it were, that IoEuropaGanymede, and Callisto were Jupiter’s moons. It was a crack on the Ptolemaic system and proof of a universe bound by laws that were unknown until then. But they only could imagine, with the aid of mathematics and their intuition, what the NASA probe has brought to our screens. It is, in a way, a reunion, for in mythology Juno was sister (and wife, too) of Jupiter, the highest divinity of the Romans: If nothing else, planet Jupiter is a gas giant more than 1,300 times the volume of Earth. Etymologically, too, the peripatetic probe and the planet are related. Juno and Jupiter share the same stem, Iovius. And that’s why the ancients believed that people born under the sign of Jupiter were jovial (another etymological derivative), for the planet that brings jollity, as in the movement of Holst’s symphony. You will understand how joyous it can be when you see the video captured by Juno of the moons orbiting Jupiter. It is one of the marvels that our generation is blessed to enjoy.

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