Japanese astronomers captured footage of a potential impact on Jupiter, just a little more than a month since a similar incident was observed.
A team, led by Ko Arimatsu of Kyoto University, released footage of a mysterious bright light appearing on the gas giant for about four seconds on October 15.
The event occurred in Jupiter’s North Tropical Zone near the southern edge of the North Temperate Belt.
If the bright light is confirmed as an impact, it would be the ninth to be captured by the human eye – the last was observed on September 13.
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Japanese astronomers captured footage of a potential impact on Jupiter, just a little more than a month since a similar incident was observed
‘For the first time in history, we succeeded in simultaneous observation of the flash of light at the moment when a small body collided with the surface of Jupiter at 22:24 (JST) on October 15,’ the researchers shared on Twitter, as first reported on by Sky and Telescope.
Jupiter is hit with dozens, maybe hundreds, of asteroids each year, as the giant planet acts as a blockade to stop such objects from impact Earth.
However, capturing such an event is very rare.
The first recorded impact on Jupiter was the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) that hit in July 1994.
A team, led by Ko Arimatsu of Kyoto University, released footage of a mysterious bright light appearing on the giant gas planet for about four seconds on Friday, October 15. Jupiter has been colorized to show the bright light
Last month, amateur astronomers captured a bright light appearing for a few seconds on the gas giant.
German astronomer Harald Paleske was watching the shadow of Jupiter’s moon, Io, create a solar eclipse in the planet’s atmosphere of Jupiter when he spotted the probable impact.
After seeing the bright flash, Paleske said he looked at each frame with the hopes of determining what caused the light.
He found the flash was in Jupiter’s atmosphere and remained visible for two seconds, ruling out any interference on Earth or a random satellite floating across the planet.
The event occurred in Jupiter’s North Tropical Zone near the southern edge of the North Temperate Belt
‘A bright flash of light surprised me,’ he told Space Weather. ‘It could only be an impact.’
Another amateur astronomer in Brazil also documented the event.
José Luis Pereira set up his equipment in São Caetano do Sul, in the southeastern Brazilian state of São Paulo on September 12 and pointed the gear toward Jupiter.
‘To my surprise, in the first video I noticed a different glow on the planet, but I didn’t pay much attention to it as I thought it might be something related to the parameters adopted, and I continued watching normally,’ Pereira shared in an email to Space.com.
The first recorded impact on Jupiter was the Comet…