Thursday, March 11, 2010

galilean moons

So about three and a half years ago I ended up taking an astronomy class. I needed two science credits for my associate's degree at MCC. I had already taken physical geography -- one of my favorite classes ever -- and I certainly had no desire to take something like chemistry or biology (although I had to take a life science class, i.e., biology, when I got to BYU-I, so this astronomy didn't really count in the long run). So for my second science class I took astronomy.

The first half of the class we talked a lot about physics a la Newton, Kepler, etc. I didn't really pay too much attention to this part of the class. Which I know regret because I think it'd be rad to know a thing or two about astrophysics. Anyway, the second half of the class we learned about the "geography" of the planets and their moons (since "geo-" means "Earth" I don't know if "geography" is the right word here but I think you get the idea). For some reason I think we started with Jupiter.

Jupiter has 63 moons. Not fair; Earth only has one. Most of them are pretty small, but four of them -- the Galilean satellites -- are comparable in size to Earth's moon. Behold:

From top to bottom: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

Said moons were discovered by Galileo around 1610-ish. They were an important discovery because the fact that these moons revolved around Jupiter helped prove that the Universe did not revolve around Earth. And they were important discovery because they're freaking awesome. Wikipedia them or look them up on Google Images. Seriously, they make our moon look pretty dull and bland.

Needless to say, these moons inspired me. I started doing a bit of research on my own and discovered that these moons were named for four of Zeus' lovers: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. (FYI: 1. Jupiter is Zeus' Roman name; 2. Ganymede is actually a guy; 3. None of these mythological characters were Zeus' wife.) I was so inspired, in fact, that I decided then and there that I would write a song about each of the Galilean satellites -- either about the moons themselves or the characters for which they were named.

So far -- in the span of three and a half years -- I've only managed to write one song, "Ganymede". It's about Ganymede the myth, not the moon. I didn't take long to find out that it's hard to write songs about astronomical objects.

Anyway, I've set a goal for myself to finish the rest of the moon-songs by my birthday (which is August 24th in case you were wondering; mark your calendar). I'm planning on writing a song for Zeus as well and maybe one for Galileo himself.

A song for Io is in the works right now... I don't have much, just a working title -- "Fire to Man" -- and perhaps one or two guitar parts. It's a start.

When I get 'em all done I plan on recording them demo-style, by myself or with a friend. Then if/when I get money I'd like to record them professionally and release it as an EP.

Ha, we'll see how far I take this. It's been in the works for three plus years now, but I've got a pretty good feeling about it this time around....


  1. this is such an awesome post/idea!

  2. That's no moon. It's a space station.

  3. Have you seen the new planetarium at MCC? Every first friday they have a free showing and as the nerd I am, I convinced Afton and a couple of my Cousin's friends to go and it was kind of cool. But what I'm SUPER excited about is the Guy in charge was saying they were putting a movie together that went along to Beatles music. Anyways the universe is real fun to learn about :) awesome post

  4. Amazing post!! I'd like to hear your songs when you finish!

  5. Sounds awesome man. If you need to rock out one of these live I smell a Space Vacation reunion in the works...