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No Plans for the Fourth? Live Stream NASA’s Jupiter Approach

July 5, 2016

And you thought the oscillating fan was mesmerizing.

Just a few hours from now, the eggheads at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California will attempt to guide a probe the size of a basketball court into orbit above Jupiter's cloudy surface. This "suspenseful orbit insertion maneuver," as the space agency calls it, marks the Juno spacecraft's arrival at the gas giant after literal years of travel.

If you're the kind of person who enjoys geeking out on Cosmos episodes, you don't want to miss it. The "insertion maneuver" (the good part, presumably), starts at 7:30 p.m. Pacific (10:30 p.m. Atlantic), and you can watch it live online.  

The mission's primary goal is to help scientists understand Jupiter's origins and inner workings. Sensors in the probe will allow it to see through the gas giant's cloudy veil. This interactive NASA video describes more about Juno and the secrets it aims to unlock:

Need a few strains to make the occasion even more mind-blowing? The obvious choice is the potent Jupiter OG. Or you could tip your space helmet to Carl Sagan, a cannabis fan and member of the Voyager spacecraft team who'd almost certainly be gazing upward tonight — more than 35 years after Voyager I zipped by Jupiter on its own cosmic journey. (Stephen Hawking might be interested, too.)

And don't forget Northern Lights, a fitting homage to some of the solar system's most brilliant auroras:

Enjoy the show!

 Too Stoned to Watch Anything? Zone Out to the Oscillating Fan