Mt Palomar, CA (IP) - Jupiter's status as the largest planet in the solar system has been downgraded by the International Astronomical Union. The planet has gone on a diet and has lost a considerable amount of weight.
The diet seems to have produced mass quantities of gas which the planet has been expelling in such large quantities that even backyard astronomers have been able to see it using telescopes as small as 120mm in diameter. So much gas has been expelled that Jupiter's largest four moons now sport their own rings since their gravitational fields have caught the particles emmited by the formerly Jovian planet (the term "Jovian planet" will no longer be applicable when referring to the fifth planet).
Jupiter joins Pluto which was also downgraded recently by astronomers which appear to have too much time on their hands. The increasing use of computers has freed up a lot of extra time for astronomers as has the influx of illegal aliens who now are taking over astronomer's lower paying jobs. Illegal aliens were once content to pick vegetables and then they expanded into the construction industry. Today they can be seen cruising around NASA facilities, planetariums, and observatories busily making menial observations and taking photographs and measurements.
Mexicans are now being employed to light the shuttle's ignition fuses which instead of being done electronically for the solid fuel strap-on boosters and through hypergolic action for the LOX/Hydrogen mixture of the main engines are now lit through the use of joining together many firecracker fuses. The Mexicans are given a very long stick match and then they run like hell after lighting the fuse. This saves NASA millions of dollars for each launch. Mexicans also are being used to wash the shuttle after it lands and to give it a complete detailing job.
A group of Mexicans recently had their feeling hurt when NASA removed a string of fuzzy dingle balls the Mexicans had attached around the periphery of the shuttles windows. I chihuahua!!!
Jupiter now sits in the northern part of Scorpio and appears to shine with a steady, bright yellowish-white glow and does not appear to blink like stars do. It rises just south of east immediately after sunset.
Its brightest four moons are easily visible through back yard telescopes as are its cloud bands and even the large eye shaped red spot first discovered by Galileo. Do not confuse it with the much brighter Venus which appears in the west right after sunset and also appears like the brightest star-like object in the sky - in third place behind the sun and the moon. Saturn is almost straight overhead at sunset and is dimmer than Jupiter. Its rings are easily seen though telescopes as small as 50mm in diameter visible also is its giant moon Titan which also suffers from gas problems. Titan will appear like a small star always near the planet.
In other space news NASA is launching a large probe full of toilet tissue which will be used to wipe clean the rings of Uranus. Charmin, the corporate toilet paper giant, will have its logo painted on the side of the Delta IV launch vehicle and they are the ones who developed the system which promises to make the outer solar system a much more sanitary place for space probes to penetrate. One scientists was asked, "What is your opinion of Uranus as a whole ?" and he replied "kind of shitty for the time being". This mission promises to change all of that.
There are now many restaurants open on our lunar colony and when critics were asked about how well they like these eateries many seem to come up with the same reply - that the food is great but there is just no atmosphere.
Meanwhile in the inner part of the solar system it has been found that Venus has a severe case of herpes- the gift that keeps on giving- and she may have contracted it from Mercury who has not been seen lately and is suspected of hiding out on the other side of the Sun.