Monday, December 10, 2012

Callisto's Tide

 Callisto's Tide.  44"x30" watercolor. 

When Hera found Callisto out as one of Zeus's (Jupiter's) lovers, she stripped the nymph of her youthful grace and made her walk the earth as a bear.  Zeus removed her heavy body from the earth and immortalized her in the sky as Ursa Major.  We perceive her revolve around Polaris (the Pole Star) throughout the year, only ever dipping her toes below the horizon (some would say into the ocean). 

In our more recent mythology, Callisto takes the form of metal and ice as the outermost of the Galilean moons (those in Jupiter's orbit.)   Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's moons became a pivotal point in his argument against a heliocentric universe.  The universe is comprised of many central bodies, exerting force over their environment.  The moon Callisto is the oldest astrological body humans have observed; astronomers theorize that her surface has remained unchanged for over 4 billion years.