Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

"Bruce Murray's Creaky Movie"

Jerry Stone

August 29, 2013

This is sad news indeed, though on the other hand, we should celebrate his achievements and be glad to have benefited from his remarkable work. In the early 1960s I started learning about the solar system through books, and it was some years before pictures were coming back from space probes that were actually travelling to these distant worlds. I still recall the excitement of learning that we were actually planning to send spacecraft to Jupiter and Saturn, to be followed years later again by seeing the incredible images from Pioneers 10 and 11. One specific memory is due to a direct action of Bruce Murray. As Pioneer 10 approached Jupiter it was taking photographs en route, clearly showing the planet's rotation. Bruce had the idea of selecting images taken as Jupiter completed one rotation after another, and putting them together. This effectively created a long time-lapse zoom in on Jupiter, with the Great Red Spot in the same relative position. However, as we got closer, we could see the Spot itself rotating, and the belts and zones swirling around in more detail than we had ever seen before. As the frames weren't precisely matched - after all we didn't have the digital imaging technology of today; this was in the early 1970s - Jupiter wobbled around somewhat, and the film was referred to as "Bruce Murray's Creaky Movie"! Thank you, Bruce.


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program 
provides each Society member 
a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more 
we have, the more effective 
we can be, translating into more 
missions, more science, 
and more exploration.



Our Curiosity Knows No Bounds!

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Us

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!