An amateur astronomer from Texas caught a rare spectacle earlier this week when an obvious meteor slammed into Jupiter’s thick upper atmosphere.
On Wednesday, amateur astronomer Ethan Chappel was on the lookout for Perseid meteors, reports ScienceAlert. However, his telescope was trained on Jupiter with the camera operating. Later, after feeding the data into a software program designed to detect impact flashes, Chappel was alerted to the event.
Looking at the footage, Chappel noticed a short however discernible flash along the western portion of Jupiter’s Southern Equatorial Belt, or SEB.
Later that day, Chappel announced his discovery in a tweet: “Imaged Jupiter tonight. Appears awfully like an impact flash within the SEB.” Chappel released a sharper version of the impression on Thursday, together with a colorized view of the apparent impact.
The flash appeared at 4:07 a.m. UTC (12:07 a.m. ET) and lasted no longer than a second and a half, said astronomer Bob King in his coverage at Sky & Telescope. The impact nonetheless needs to be confirmed by different astronomers; however, it bears the hallmarks of a meteor strike and not something that might be produced by Jupiter’s lightning flashes or auroras.
Trying on the flash, the size of the explosion seems small. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to keep in our mind that Jupiter is the giant planet within the solar system. The meteor had to have been quite significant to produce a flash of such prominence.
Jupiter being Earth’s guardian, has been attracting giant size asteroids and meteors – defending earth from all cosmos. Hopefully, confirmation of this newest influence will come soon, along with more details about what must have been an enormous object.