In 2011, NASA launched a spacecraft called Juno to travel to the planet Jupiter. In 2016, it arrived and began orbiting Jupiter. By studying Jupiter, we are learning how a gas giant affects the solar system around it. It is thought that then we will be able to understand the nature of other solar systems just by examining their gas giants.
There are billions of Jupiter-like planets in our galaxy, and they are easier to observe than any of the other smaller planets. A planet that large has a significant impact on a solar system and scientists believe that the messages that come back to us can tell us how these systems formed. Let’s look at one small piece of what scientists are studying from the images and data being sent back to Earth from Juno.
Share the following video with your preteens [2:02; stop at 1:45]:
NASA Releases Stunning Video Of Jupiter Captured By Juno Spacecraft
You and I may not be as brilliant as the NASA scientists studying the data, but we can understand they spent billions of dollars and years of waiting to get this data from space. Whether they interpret these messages and apply them correctly remains to be seen. In other scientific studies, scientists gather information from various sources and compare it before they come up with a theory.
- Why do you think it is so important to scientists that they study Jupiter at this level? (Answers will vary but may include that they are trying to find out how the solar systems are formed and whether there is life on other planets.)
- What kind of messages do you give top priority and why are they important? (Answers may include social media messages from friends; some may give their parents top priority. Some may mention information from teachers, etc. as messages that contain important information that they need to respond to or act upon. Students might mention God’s Word.)
We don’t have to be NASA scientists to know and understand the answers to some of life’s greatest questions. God gave us His Word, the Bible, to help guide us as well as give us His answers to the big and small questions in life. God’s Word is His message to us that provides everything we need. Let’s find out more.