Les Relations des Jésuites contiennent 6 tomes et défont le mythe du bon Sauvage de Jean-Jacques Rousseau, et aussi des légendes indiennes pour réclamer des territoires, ainsi que la fameuse «spiritualité amérindienne».

mardi, juin 05, 2007


by Leo Enright (Dublin, Ireland)

The Planet Jupiter has suffered the greatest cosmic bombardment to be witnessed in our solar system since human records began - and its ordeal is not over yet. Scientists literally screamed with delight as they watched titanic fireballs rise high into the planet's atmosphere, and experts say the devastation caused is so vast that it is now plainly visible from Earth with even the most modest of amateur telescopes [my italic].

In the coming days Irish stargazers should be able to see at least one Earth-sized hole that was blasted through Jupiter's gaily-coloured clouds by a fragment of comet Shoemaker/Levy-9. The biggest fragment to strike the planet was probably three kilometres across and exploded with the force of six million megatons of TNT, 600 times the power of the world's entire nuclear arsenal. That detonation sent a vast column of hot gas high into the upper atmosphere of the planet, billowing outwards as it climbed to form a mushroom cloud thousands of kilometres across.

As the cloud flattened out and dissipated, it left behind a black spot about the size of Earth which astronomers say is now the most prominent feature on Jupiter and which is visible even in small telescopes.

A science team at the South Pole - where in winter the sun never rises and Jupiter never sets - has been monitoring the planet 24 hours a day and reported a spectacular fireball when the largest fragment hit.

That same fireball was seen by telescopes at the European Southern Observatory in Chile, where the intensity of the flash in one instrument was 50 times brighter than Jupiter itself. 'It doesn't matter if it's lead or custard pie, if something hits Jupiter or the Earth at high speed it will explode with enormous power,' said Dr. Eugene Shoemaker, a discoverer of the colliding comet.

'I feel sorry for Jupiter,' quipped an astronomer, Heidi Hammell. 'These impacts are going to make one heck of a mess'.

This article, written appeared in The Irish Times (20 July 1994).

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