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Impact on Jupiter surprises skywatchers

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Harald Paleske in Langendorf, Germany, captured this picture of a vibrant flash of sunshine as one thing impacted Jupiter on September 13, 2021. Io and its shadow are on the left aspect of Jupiter, whereas the flash is to the correct of heart. Picture by way of Spaceweather.com.

Photographers seize an affect on Jupiter

Observers across the globe had been stunned on September 13, 2021, after they witnessed an obvious affect on the large planet Jupiter. A vibrant flash of sunshine distracted them from their observing goal: an ongoing transit of the shadow of the jovian moon Io throughout the face of Jupiter. A few fortunate astrophotographers managed to snap pictures of the flash.

The picture at high comes from Germany. Harald Paleske advised SpaceWeather.com he was watching the darkish shadow of Io cross onto Jupiter’s floor when the burst of sunshine startled him. He said:

A vibrant flash of sunshine stunned me. It may solely be an affect.

Paleske had been taking a video of the transit of Io’s shadow when the occasion occurred. He seemed over his video frames, looking for a satellite tv for pc or airplane that may have proven up as the intense patch. However he discovered no proof that the occasion occurred near Earth or that’s he’d witnessed an earthly evente with Jupiter as mere backdrop. He timed the occasion as occurring at 22:39:27 UTC on September 13 and lasting for 2 seconds.

One other astronomer, José Luis Pereira of Brazil, additionally captured the flash from the affect. ESA Operations tweeted his photograph by way of Flickr.

A French astrophotographer, J.P. Arnould, additionally captured the shocking occasion.

What hit Jupiter?

It’s too quickly to know, however a comet or asteroid could be the most certainly culprits. As Spaceweather.com mentioned:

An asteroid within the 100-meter measurement vary (about 300 toes) would do the trick.

Skywatchers with telescopes from all elements of Earth are poised to view Jupiter following the affect. They’re hoping to identify a darkish mark or momentary scar ensuing from the affect. That’s what occurred throughout the best-known impacts on Jupiter, which occurred in July of 1994. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 blazed a path straight towards Jupiter. Skilled observatories had been able to catch the ensuing collision. Shoemaker-Levy 9 left a complete path of particles throughout the gasoline large planet, as Jupiter’s intense tidal forces tore it to items.

A line of brown dots along southern hemisphere of Jupiter.
Brown spots mark the locations the place fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 tore by means of Jupiter’s ambiance in July 1994. Picture by way of Wikimedia Commons.

Backside line: An affect on Jupiter on September 13, 2021 has stargazers trying skyward to see if they will spot any lingering proof of the occasion.

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