MAR 29, 2016 4:22 PM PDT

Astronomers Spot Something Slamming Into Jupiter

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Astronomers are getting very excited over an opportunity to observe an impact by a comet or asteroid on the surface of Jupiter.
 

An image of Jupiter captured by NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1979.


The incident, which is said to have occurred on March 17th, is now making headlines as the video of the huge impact as seen from 20 and 28 centimeter telescopes by amateur astronomers goes viral across the internet.
 
Although the rocky body that slammed into Jupiter may not have been very large, it must have been travelling very fast because it made a large bright impact before being followed by a massive flume trail.
 
The object that struck the gassy planet is thought to have only been around a few hundred feet in diameter. Although the impact looks large, other physical properties of the impact would have attributed to the size of the flume.
 
Jupiter is known for having an incredibly strong gravitational pull, which helps to protect a lot of the inner planets from being struck, and as such, Jupiter is estimated to be hit at least once per year with some kind of space rock.
 
This time around, astronomers got a front row seat to the event, and you can see the action in fuzzy but undeniable detail in the video below:
 

 
Visible right off the bat is a flash, which is a reaction of the speed of the rock slamming into the gassy atmosphere and exploding. The impact also creates a flume that jets off into space.
 
Although there are recorded events of this occurring to Jupiter in 1994, 2010, and 2012, this is one of the better recordings of it happening that has been released to the public.

Source: Discovery News

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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