NASA’s Jupiter probe was named “Juno” because of a 400 year old joke.
NASA’s Jupiter probe is called Juno, Juno of course being the wife of Jupiter in greek mythology. What you may not know is that some of the moons of Jupiter are named after mistresses of the greek god. So NASA is sending Jupiter’s wife to check up on him and his mistresses. Since Jupiters moons got names in the 1600s this is a joke 400 years in the making!
But wait, it gets even better…
Redditor NattyBumppo explains:
"The story is actually a bit more detailed (and interesting) than that. As depicted in this painting by Correggio, there was a myth that described Jupiter as taking the form of a cloud, in order to conceal his infidelity with his mistress Io from his wife, Juno. Some alternative myths say that Jupiter created a large cloud cover to hide Io and himself. (Note that Io is one of the planet Jupiter’s four largest moons, as OP mentioned.)However, Juno saw the clouds and was like “huh, that’s not normal; I’ll bet my no-good husband is cheating again,” and started blowing away the clouds to see what was underneath. That’s what inspired the name of this mission; the primary objective of the Juno spacecraft will be to see through Jupiter’s thick cloud layers to learn more about what it’s made of. (Source.)"
NASA has sent a probe named after Jupiter’s wife to check up on him and his mistress moons and see if it can peer through the clouds of the gas giant and learn more about it… just like in the myth.
You can say what you want about NASA, but you can’t say they don’t have a great sense of humor!
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