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Jupiter Impact

Jupiter Impact

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According to Universe Today something — it is currently uncertain what it is — impacted Jupiter on July 19th, as the world was celebrating the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11.

The Jupiter impact was first detected by an amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley.The Jupiter impact has beenJupiter Deep Impact confirmed."The Infrared Telescope Facility at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, has imaged the south polar region Jupiter, confirming the impact, which occurred on July 19," according to Universe Today.

"New infrared images show the likely impact point, with a visibly dark "scar" and bright upwelling particles in the upper atmosphere detected in near-infrared wavelengths, and a warming of the upper troposphere with possible extra emission from ammonia gas detected at mid-infrared wavelengths."The impact on Jupiter of either a comet or an asteroid is not the first such event to happen on the solar system's largest planet in living memory.

Fifteen years ago, almost in fact to the day, comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 broke up and it's fragments impacted into Jupiter across a wide area of its northern hemisphere, under the observation of hundreds of telescopes around the world.Shoemaker-Levy 9 was observed for a year prior to its impact on Jupiter.

Whatever hit Jupiter on July 19th seems to have snuck up unobserved.

It was only by a happy chance that Antony Wesley was observing Jupiter at the time, imaging the gas giant's enormous storm systems that wrack its surface.Jupiter, not only due to it being the largest gas giant planet in the solar system, but also because of its large system of moons, is one of the more fascinating objects for astronomers.

A number of robotic space probes have visited the Jupiter system, including Pioneers 10 and 11, Voyagers 1 and 2, and the Galileo, which orbited Jupiter for years, studying the gas giant as well as its numerous moons.The next planned probe to Jupiter is called Juno, scheduled to be launched in 2011.

Juno will be inserted in a polar orbit around Jupiter and will study that planet's composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere.
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