That "Galileo thing"

I understand that NASA is now planning on using Jupiter to absorb the now nearly used up Galileo spacecraft. Beats littering our highways I always say.

Now some folks out there <> are suggesting that the plutonium fuel onboard may go supercritical as the spacecraft plunges into the planet’s super-dense atmosphere, lighing Jupiter into thermonuclear burning, turning it into a tiny star, ejecting sufficient atmospheric material and radiation to kill all life on earth. Since that includes me and my family I thought I should make a small inquiry. Is this yet another bit of alarmist drivel, or should we blow the college fund before the end of September?

I know one way to find out. Wait 8 days and look up.

Thanks. I’d already considered that. My question though was designed to have a somewhat longer lead time if I should dump my portfolio prior to then.

Why would a tiny little reactor be able to release more energy than the huge comet that struck Jupiter not too long ago? Besides, I am wondering why Jupiter would be prone to burning anyway…

Any outfit that refers to it’s readers as “netizens” is to be distrusted. Another article on that site: “DID PLANET X KILL THE DINOSAURS?” Or, “A HITCHIKER’S GUIDE TO NIBIRU.” Whatever. Just some dumb cult. Happy first post, by the way.

Well, according to the perhaps somewhat alarmist folks quoted in the URL quoted in the original thread there is something like 47 pound of plutonium on board. Under the pressures and temperatures to be encounted as the spacecraft plunges head first into the Jovian atmosphere at something like 107,000 miles per hour that much plutonium might just undergo fission producing up to 100,000,000 degrees in the resulting explosion which might just be able to then cause the pressurized liquid hudrogen of which Jupiter is composed to begin a thermonuclear fusion reaction – a planetary hudrogen bomb-like reaction essentially turning the planet into a miniature star.

If you believe that, I’ve got some Kool-Aid for you to drink.:smiley:

I think we should ask the inhabitants of Jupiter first.

Yes it is.
Jupiter didn’t explode when the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed into it and left blemishes larger than the earth in the jovian clouds. A few thousand pounds of plutonium and steel will produce far less spectacular markings.

I’m still gonna look up.

Shoemaker-Levy 9 fragment G hit with an impact energy equivalent to 6,000,000 megatons. If that didn’t ignite Jupiter, one little space probe ain’t gonna do it.

Uncle Bill,

Are you gonna wear sunglasses?


Considering that the linked website also believes in Nibiru/Planet X and crop circles, and that the space shuttle Columbia was destroyed by sheets of “scalar energy,” their credibility on pretty much any issue must be called into question–particularly regarding scientific issues.

They’re good for a laugh, though.

“I’m still gonna look up.”

An elegant solution if ever there were one, but offering very little lead time.

The only reason I brought this up was in hopes someone would point out the error in their reasoning. If Galileo’s fuel were made of anything but fissible plutonium then it would make far less of a “splash” than Shoemaker-Levy 9.

Since there is even a remote possibility that the plutonium fuel might go critical it was in hopes of finding someone with sufficient expertise to point out why it WOULDN’T that I even bothered to post this thread.

Ah, they’re 1920s style death rays, aren’t they?

The point is that even IF the plutonium on Galileo goes supercritical, it will STILL be far, far less than the impact of Shoemaker-Levy. It doesn’t matter if it does or not.

And the thermonuclear ignition temperatures of 30,000,000 degrees were also met or exceeded by shoemaker-Levy? Cool! If that is the case then my question is answered.

Of course, I live in MIAMI!

from the cite in the OP:

And there you have it. A well-reasoned argument for not crashing a space probe on Jupiter: aliens are trying to tell us thru crop circles that we are destroying their environment. I’m convinced.

There are two simple responses to such a theory:

  1. Bull
  2. Shit