Monday, December 03, 1973

By Jove, This Is A Bad Idea!

We humans have managed to accomplish a lot with our hubris - landing on the moon, curing smallpox, inventing the tele-vision, and so forth. But sometimes we make some really prideful blunders, too. I fear that Pioneer 10's upcoming encounter with Jupiter will be the blunderest of them all!

The astrologers have warned us many times about angering the outer planets. For millennia, they have kept the gas giants pacified and spared us from their wrath. Now that we are sending a probe to buzz Jupiter while snapping pictures like an hapless tourist, I fear that the astrologers will no longer be able to contain the gas giant's wrath.

If Jupiter decides to unleash a flurry of comets and trojan asteroids in our direction as penance for our disrespectful probing, we shall have no-one to blame but ourselves.