Juno's Gift: Touching Jupiter
About The Show
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Dr. Scott Bolton, Associate Vice President at the Southwest Research Institute, is the visionary renaissance man behind NASA’s Juno Mission. Dr. Bolton has been dreaming of the stars, and of art and music, since he’s a boy. In person, Scott easily talks about his passion for science, art and music and can explain the most complicated concepts inspiring and motivating both academicians as well as curious wide-eyed children. His ability to think outside of the boxes, combined with his creative instincts, led him to develop the Juno mission, successfully combining and fusing science, music, and art.
With the proverbial stars aligning in 2016, Scott formed a collaboration between Apple and NASA to develop the intersection of the arts and sciences which culminated in Scott working on developing new music, art, and films with numerous artists including Brad Paisley, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Jim James, Wyclef, Little Big Town, GZA (Wu Tang), Vangelis, Genesis, Doug Aitken, Herbie Hancock and others. Alongside his commitment to space and planetary exploration, Scott is dedicated to educational and environmental initiatives working with Lego (there are Lego mini-figures on Juno!), developing STEAM education curriculum and researching ocean plastic with Parley. Bolton received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, along the way attending and teaching at the University of Michigan, Caltech and the University of California at Berkeley. Among his many awards, he received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2002 for his work on Cassini, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2012 for Juno as well as being awarded the American Ingenuity Award in 2018 from the Smithsonian. Dr. Bolton has spoken at the United Nations, the Smithsonian, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art as well as venues throughout Europe and Asia.
Beginning in 1958, NASA has explored the Earth, sent astronauts to the Moon and reached out to the furthest reaches of our solar system. By studying the Sun and our companion planets, humanity learns about Earth, life and our origins. From Apollo to Jupiter and the stars, NASA has reached out addressing fundamental questions on who we are and where we came from. The creation of the Juno mission seeks to learn about the first step in planetary formation providing a glimpse into the earliest stages of our solar system. Juno’s discoveries are paradigm shifting to our understanding of giant planets, providing a revolutionary new view of Jupiter, both challenging our theories and presenting beauty that is beyond belief. By peering beneath the clouds with a powerful suite of instruments, Juno is fundamentally redefining our basic assumptions about the origin and evolution of gas giants. The mission is not only reshaping our understanding of the planets in our own solar system, but also is providing context to help us interpret the new observations of planets orbiting other stars. High-resolution imagery returned by Juno’s camera has revealed a myriad of Earth-size cyclones raging in Jupiter¹s atmosphere. Microwave measurements have discovered layers of ammonia clouds stretching to great depths. The atmosphere is not homogeneous, which fundamentally challenges our ideas of how giant planet atmospheres work. Juno sees deep within Jupiter into a metallic hydrogen region searching for evidence of a core. The Images returned from Juno’s incredibly close orbits are breathtaking, bridging art and science, and allowing the audience to literally reach out and touch Jupiter. All of Juno¹s imaging data are available via the mission’s website allowing the pictures to be created by the public, a first for NASA.
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