Home > General > Jupiter hit by comet?

Jupiter hit by comet?

UPDATE: An object that hit Jupiter last year with a force equivalent to a few thousand nuclear bombs, which left it with a scar the size of the Pacific Ocean was probably an asteroid, say astronomers. Click here for the full report.

Astronomers say Jupiter has apparently been struck by an object, possibly a comet. Images taken by Nasa show an Earth-sized scar in the atmosphere near the south pole of the gas giant. The images, taken by the US space agency’s infrared telescope in Hawaii, come on the 15th anniversary of another comet strike.
In 1994, Jupiter was bombarded by pieces of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. Scientists at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, captured the new images after receiving a tip from an Australian amateur astronomer, Anthony Wesley, on July 19.

“We were extremely lucky to be seeing Jupiter at exactly the right time, the right hour, the right side of Jupiter to witness the event. We couldn’t have planned it better,” JPL scientist Glenn Orton said in a statement released by the lab. Orton said the event “could be the impact of a comet, but we don’t know for sure yet.”

20090721105109990001

This image released by Nasa/JPL shows a large impact on Jupiter’s south polar region captured on July 20, 2009, by Nasa’s Infrared Telescope Facility in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Astronomers say Jupiter has apparently been struck by an object, possibly a comet, leaving an Earth-sized scar on the giant planet. The images also show bright upwelling particles in the atmosphere, detected in near-infrared wavelengths, as well as a warming of the upper troposphere with possible extra emission from ammonia gas detected at mid-infrared wavelengths.

We thought we would post this news on our blog as it will no doubt have many 2012ers and doomcryers somehow relating this event to Nibiru, especially via YouTube. It’s just the way these people work unfortunately.

Advertisements
  1. July 21, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Doesn’t make me feel that safe that we didn’t know about the impact in advance. The first step of NEO impact mitigation is knowing where potentially hazardous material is located and its trajectory.

  2. yowcrooks
    July 21, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    I agree it is a little unnerving that this event was detected after it had hit Jupiter. The problem is is that there are so many potentially hazardous objects zipping around up there it’s almost impossible to find and track them all. If interested, I recommend people visit the following link for more information on NEOs. Near-Earth Objects

    As for this object hitting Jupiter, was it a comet? Asteroid? How big was it? Where did it come from? Will be interesting when we know the answers to these questions and more. We can be thankful that we have a planet like Jupiter in our solar system. Without Jupiter acting as a kind of “cosmic vacuum cleaner” sucking up these dangerous objects, there would be so many catastrophic impacts that life probably wouldn’t have evolved on the Earth and we wouldn’t be here today. At least, this is the commonly accepted wisdom.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: