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Sigh…another impact on Jupiter

August 23, 2010

Well, it’s happened again. Something hit Jupiter while Earthlings were watching. Why is this newsworthy? It’s only the fourth time it’s happened in recorded history, but the third time it’s happened in the last 13 months. It seems increasingly likely that Jupiter is getting creamed by rocks that would dwarf the dinosaur-killer (seriously, the fireballs we’ve been seeing on Jupiter are the size of continents) all the time, but we’re just now catching on because finally enough amateur astronomers are watching (and digitally recording) the planet to provide something approaching continuous monitoring.

That’s right: amateur astronomers. All three of the recent impacts were found by amateurs. This latest was independently detected by two Japanese amateurs, one using a 6″ scope and one a 9.25″ scope.

More info and a link to a video of the impact at both Sky & Tel and Space Weather.

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2 comments

  1. Uh. If this is happening to Jupiter three times in thirteen months, what does that tell us about the odds of it happening to us?


  2. […] a comment on the recent Jupiter impact post, Mike asked, Uh. If this [i.e., big things slamming into Jupiter] […]



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