Juno at Jupiter
Inspired by the events that unfolded on the evening of July 4th 2016 as NASA’s Juno spacecraft finally arrived at Jupiter after a chilly 5 years coasting away from Earth across deep space.
A few scribbles and compositions: The most inspiring bit about the spacecraft is its unique shape and the mode it operates in order to capture high resolution images while travelling at great speed in order not to fall into Jupiter’s massive gravity well. It rotates in order to expose all of its instruments to Jupiter and in doing so looks to me exactly like a wind turbine. Swish swish swish!
We had been spending a lot of time at the local airport to wind down for the evening and do some iPhone night photography of the planes arriving at the gates, when the arrival of Juno popped up on my twitter feed announcing a live-streaming event, so we tuned in.
Fireworks could be clearly heard in the background to much amusement of the broadcast team and the public chittering away on the chat, an incredible coincidence nonetheless. After most of the interviews and talking head segments had been done the Juno team brought us the announcement we had all been eagerly waiting for. Successful orbital insertion- Juno’s little rockets had fired at the precise time after five years of sleep in the coldest conditions imaginable.
The broadcast was brought to an end but punctuated by an interesting challenge! For the occasion the ULA Launch and Juno team announced on Twitter an art competition that anyone could enter.
We had a table, a coffee, a quiet airport venue- Ilona-Ruby was happily occupied drawing on her iPad Pro, I knew this was time to show the world how bad I sucked at digital painting!
The first “finished” draft completed and submitted to the competition. Overall, the painting took a few hours and was “finished” at home.
What we have here is clearly a product of someone who doesn’t know their arse from their elbow when it comes to painting. A valiant bodge job nonetheless 🤷♂️
It is at this point that everything should be over, the fuss over Juno, the competition will obviously be lost but heck taking part was the point, I enjoyed it. As it happens the effects of that night would resonate for more than 4 years, but lets keep this on track. A month goes by and throughout I have been engaged in uploading processed images of Juno to the Mission’s Citizen Science hub. The images didn’t have to be scientifically accurate nor did they have to be particularly well processed, however the images were screened before being published to ensure all was above board and all that.
4 Weeks of Juno What
Wait what?! Hey thats me! “WinterBynes” , and sure enough about four weeks later a package arrived, Fedex’d from the USA all the way to The Netherlands.
Being as this was likely to be an awesome experience, I unpacked the package and recorded the happening.
Be prepared, as the reveal is mind blowing 🤯
It was this huge fluctuation of emotion that inevitably drew me back to finish the painting.
Sale Sale Sale
The final piece has been commissioned as a print on canvas a couple of times, purchased upon request for which I am very honoured.
I have also donated one print to my close childhood radio ham friend Steve Homer (EI2GYB) who is a keen amateur astronomer.
I had been outside experiencing the last legs of the fierce winds with my electronic project kits and cobbled wind sculptures. The wind mill wouldn’t stand a chance of even moving in regular wind, so it was a great time for my imagination! The damage caused to the UK was widely reported, and was notable as it caught everyone off guard- due to the weather forecast that the weathermen famously “got wrong”.
This experience gave me a fascination with the power of wind, having later purposefully gone out to see the giant wind turbines that were being developed while we were on holiday in Wales. A kind stranger pointed us directly to the wind farm, meeting one up close and touching it was like an actual vivid dream-come-true.
Additional details in the final piece are the light-trails recorded from the Droomvlught (Dream-flight) of De Efteling (The Efteling), used in the painting to depict the dangerous radiation that emits into space from Jupiter.
The little red guy on the side is a depiction of myself as a 7 year old experiencing the 1987 hurricane at my family home in the Midlands, UK with my own self built wind power contraptions-
A beautiful Atlas V rocket pin, A collection of colour Juno pamphlets, multiple origin photographs of the rocket launch carrying Juno into space, a ULA Launch airforce-style safety pin keyring and a massively warm fuzzy feeling. 😻
On top of this, an official ULA-Launch & Juno mission coin- this particular Juno medallion is as far as I know the only one of its kind in Europe.
Thanks for visiting my journal!