Jupiter Whacked Again? Japanese Astronomers Record Possible Impact

Jupiter impact flash Oct. 15, 2021
Japanese astronomer Ko Arimatsu captured a doable influence flash in Jupiter’s North Tropical Zone (NTrZ) at 13:24 UT on October fifteenth.
Ko Arimatsu / Kyoto University

Get your scorecards out — Jupiter simply took one other interplanetary hit. If it is confirmed it will be the eleventh noticed comet or asteroid strike on the gas big because the items of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed into Jupiter in 1994.

Just a little greater than a month after 5 amateurs independently recorded the same flash, a crew of astronomers, led by Ko Arimatsu of Kyoto University, filmed this most up-to-date flare in Jupiter’s cloud tops at 13:24 UT on Friday, October fifteenth.

The potential influence flash seems across the 12-second mark on this video of Jupiter made on Friday, October fifteenth.
Ko Arimatsu / Kyoto University

Arimatsu and the group used a surveillance system known as PONCOTS as a part of the Organized Autotelescopes for Serendipitous Event Survey (OASES) challenge to make their discovery. Although we have but to nail down the flash’s exact Jovian latitude and longitude, the occasion occurred in Jupiter’s North Tropical Zone close to the southern fringe of the North Temperate Belt. From the video, the burst lasted about 4 seconds. It shortly rises into visibility, maintains a gentle gentle for about 2 seconds after which swiftly disappears.

Jupiter's belts and zones
Jupiter shows alternating darkish belts and vibrant zones that assist in figuring out any potential influence scars within the wake of the newest flash. Zones are colder and mark upwelling ammonia ice clouds; belts are hotter areas marked by descending gases.
Sky & Telescope illustration

According to the Europlanet Society, on common 6½ objects 10 meters throughout and bigger (that’s, large enough for amateurs to document) hit Jupiter every year. Aided by transient-alert software program like DeTeCt, we have seen a gentle uptick within the variety of impacts in latest years, proving that the extra we glance, the extra we see. The most recent impact, in September, did not produce a visual influence scar. This one might not both. But each occasions make us keenly conscious of the potential hazards that also lurk in our solar system.

Jupiter impact flash in false color
This is a false-color view of the influence, combining seen and infrared exposures.
Ko Arimatsu / Kyoto University

Amateurs who photographed and took video of the Jupiter across the time of the potential influence are urged to contact both Marc Delcroix or Ricardo Hueso to offer affirmation of the occasion. Let us right here at Sky & Telescope know, too! Just go away a remark, and I’ll be certain that to contact you.


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