Did Jupiter simply get smacked once more? Amateur astronomer José Luis Pereira of Brazil simply found a possible new affect at the gas large on September thirteenth at round 22:39:30 UT (18:39:30 EDT). Weather situations have been poor at the time, however Pereira determined to go looking anyway for potential flashes with DeTeCt software. The free program, created by planetary observer Marc Delcroix, is a great tool to test for transient occasions equivalent to planetary impacts.
Despite poor situations Pereira suspected one thing on his first video and ran DeTeCt to test it out. The program alerted him that there was a excessive likelihood that what he noticed was certainly a collision. He instantly despatched a message to Delcroix for affirmation.
If confirmed, it might be the eighth recorded impact at Jupiter for the reason that first in July 1994, when fragments of sundered Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed into the planet and left a path of outstanding darkish scars.
Jupiter rotates quickly, coming spherical in just below 10 hours. To discover a potential darkish spot within the affect’s wake, you may have to know its latitude and longitude. But as a result of the planet isn’t a inflexible physique, its rotation charge varies some by latitude. Equatorial areas spin quickest and polar areas slower. That’s why three programs are used to find out a characteristic’s longitude: System I for areas inside 10° of the equator (for the present flash), System II for all greater latitudes, and System III to match the rotation of the planet’s magnetosphere and Jupiter’s official rotation charge. Often, all three longitudes shall be given for completeness.
Pereira captured the flash at latitude –5.5° and longitude 105.7° (System I / L1), 83.3° (System II / L2), and 273.4° (System III / L3). To decide the present or a future Jovian longitude in both system, use the Arkansas Sky Observatory’s Jupiter Central Meridian site and enter the specified UT time. Click here to transform your native time to UT.
Amateurs are inspired to test any movies or images taken inside 5 minutes of the affect time to verify the occasion. I additionally hope you’ll be watching the positioning for any affect scar which may seem within the coming nights. Happily, a darkish marking ought to stand out properly in opposition to the pale Equatorial Zone.
This is a creating story. Updates are discovered beneath.
** Update September 15 — At least 7 observers independently noticed or recorded the flash in line with Marc Delcroix. That consists of 1 from Brazil, 2 from Germany, 3 from France and 1 from Italy. You’ll discover the French movies and nonetheless images here.
German beginner astronomer Harald Paleske additionally captured pictures of the affect by means of his 16-inch reflector. Despite poor seeing at the time, the 2-second-long flash is apparent. I’ve seen a tough estimate of 100 meters (328 toes) for the impactor’s measurement. There are not any reviews of darkish affect spots at this time.