September 27, 2023

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The footage shows that a high-velocity object has just collided with Jupiter

The footage shows that a high-velocity object has just collided with Jupiter


Amateur astronomers often image Jupiter, the gas giant planet 300 times more massive than Earth, in order to study activity on this famous world. In 2021, an observer filmed a space rock colliding with Jupiter, and now a Japanese astronomer has filmed another interesting explosion in Jupiter’s sky.

The event was posted to X (the site formerly called Twitter) by the account MASA planetary recordIt happened on August 29th. You can watch the bright flash below.

What happened? An asteroid, or piece of an asteroid or comet, a few tens of yards across, collided with Jupiter. As it sprinted across the planet’s towering sky, it collided with atmospheric molecules, rapidly causing friction and heating.

“It melts and explodes,” Peter Ferris, an astronomer at the Astrophysical Center at Harvard University and the Smithsonian, a collaborative research group between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory, told Mashable. “It’s pretty much a fireball,” he added, referring to the meteors that explode in the sky here on Earth.

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For Jupiter, which is 11 times as wide as our planet, this was a small impact event. Big collisions, like who Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 In 1994, dark spots were left on the surface of Jupiter, including one earth diameter.

“It just melts and explodes.”

This last event only produced a quick burst of light. But she is alive.

The story of our solar system is a story of collisions. Surprisingly, large objects are constantly colliding with the massive Jupiter. It attracts things, and it has nearly 100 known moons. “Sometimes people say Jupiter is a giant void [cleaner] “In the solar system,” Ferrisch said.

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Objects collide with the Earth as well, but on a smaller scale. Every day about 100 tons of dust and particles the size of sand fall through the Earth’s atmosphere and instantly burn up. Every year, on average, a “car-sized asteroid” plummets through our sky and explodes. NASA explains. Impacts of objects about 460 feet in diameter occur every 10,000 to 20,000 years, and the “dinosaur-killing” impact of a rock perhaps half a mile wide or larger occurs at intervals of 100 million years. (In the future, when a huge boulder returns, scientists hope to deflect it.)

Expect more views of space rocks crashing into Jupiter. While most professional giant telescopes (which devote expensive operating hours to looking at the deep universe) don’t focus on the giant world so close to home, some amateur astronomers stay up all night (this viewing is often automatic). The result is sparkling snapshots and a better understanding of our cosmic neighborhood.

“Amateurs all over the world can only point and watch,” Ferisch said. “This is a great advantage.”

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