A fast object collided with Jupiter and blew up, space footage shows

It's fascinating to see.

9/18/2021 5:02:00 PM

It's fascinating to see.

An asteroid or icy object collided with the gas giant Jupiter on Sept. 13, where it eventually blew up in the planet's thick atmosphere.

Now days after the event, astronomers don't think the object could have been too large (say, more than some 330 feet across, or 100 meters) because the impact would have left lasting holes in Jupiter's clouds. In 1994, for example, massive chunks (some half-a-mile wide) of the broken-apart comet Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 left giant gashes in the Jovian atmosphere that

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lasted for months."It blew these giant Earth-sized holes in the clouds," explained Paul Byrne, an associate professor of earth and planetary science at Washington University in St. Louis. But Jupiter, which is 11 times wider than our planet, wasn't significantly disrupted by this much smaller, most recent collision."Jupiter is so big that it can shrug this off," Byrne said.

Yet the impact, and resulting explosion, certainly produced a bright flash. Astronomers and other researchers use this brightness to gauge the size of an impacting object, explained Cathy Plesko, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory who researches asteroid and comet impacts. A larger object creates a more energetic explosion, and flash. headtopics.com

(Even tiny objects produce vivid flashes. The common shooting star is arice-sized meteorburning up in Earth's atmosphere."That's pretty bright for a grain of rice," Plesko said.) Read more: Mashable »

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope observations of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa have revealed the presence of persistent water vapor – but, mysteriously, only in one hemisphere.

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