Footage shows a high-speed object just crashed into Jupiter


Amateur astronomers often film Jupiter, the gas giant planet over 300 times the mass of Earth, to study activity on this iconic planet. In 2021, an observer filmed a space rock colliding with Jupiter, and now a Japanese astronomer has captured another fascinating explosion in Jupiter’s sky.

The event was posted from the account on X (the website formerly called Twitter). MASA planetary protocolhappened on August 29th. You can see the bright flash below.

What happened? An asteroid, or part of an asteroid or comet, maybe a few tens of meters across, struck Jupiter. As it flew through the planet’s high sky, it slammed into atmospheric molecules, quickly causing friction and heating.

“It just melts and explodes,” Peter Vereš, an astronomer at the Center for Astrophysics-Harvard & Smithsonian, a joint research group between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and 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 – eleven times the size of our planet – this was a small impact event. Large collisions, like Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994, left dark spots on Jupiter’s surface, including one diameter of the earth.

“It just melts and explodes.”

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The history of our solar system is a history of collisions. And it’s no surprise that massive objects keep crashing into massive Jupiter. It attracts objects and has nearly 100 known moons. “Sometimes people say Jupiter is a giant vacuum [cleaner] in the solar system,” said Vereš.

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Objects are also arriving on Earth, albeit to a lesser extent. Every day about 100 tons of dust and sand-sized particles fall through the earth’s atmosphere and burn up immediately. Every year, on average, a “car-sized asteroid” crashes through our skies and explodes, NASA explains. Impacts from objects about 460 feet in diameter occur every 10,000 to 20,000 years, and a “dinosaur-killing” impact from a rock maybe half a mile or more in diameter occurs on timescales of 100 million years. (If a colossal rock returns in the future, scientists hope to be able to deflect it.)

Expect more views of space rocks crashing into Jupiter. While most professional giant telescopes (which spend costly telescope operating hours looking down the deep, deep cosmos) don’t focus on the vast world so close to home, some amateur astronomers keep vigilant watch all night (this observation is…) . often automated). The result is dazzling images and a better understanding of our cosmic neighborhood.

“Amateurs around the world can just point and watch,” Vereš said. “That’s a big advantage.”

Chrissy Callahan

Chrissy Callahan is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chrissy Callahan joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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