Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system, has always been a source of wonders for astronomers and non-astronomers alike. Due to its massive size and immense gravitational pull, the planet has been taking a beating in recent months.

Skygazers in Japan observed a second strike on the surface within a month after the planet was bombarded. Skywatchers in Japan observed a bright flash of light emanating from the planet’s atmosphere in the northern hemisphere, which is likely caused by an asteroid penetrating inside. “The flash felt like it was shining for a very long time to me,” quoted the amateur astronomers who go by his Twitter handle @yotsuyubi21 as saying. He photographed the flash with a Celestron C6 telescope.

The strike, which was visible for about four seconds, was confirmed by observation done by a team led by Ko Arimatsu, an astronomer at Japan’s Kyoto University. “For the first time in history, we succeeded in simultaneous observation of the flash of light at the moment when a small body collided with the surface of Jupiter at 22:24 (JST) on October 15,” the Organized Autotelescopes for Serendipitous Event Survey (OASES) project said in a tweet.

The observations included two different types of light, visible and infrared. This gave the biggest planet in the solar system a pinkish glow.

According to Sky and Telescope, the impact event occurred in Jupiter’s North Tropical Zone near the southern edge of the North Temperate Belt at latitude +20 degrees North and longitude 201 degrees (System II).

This is not the first impact event on Jupiter observed from Earth this year. Amateur astronomer José Luis Pereira from Brazil got a glimpse of a rare event as he discovered an impact on the gas giant on September 13. If the October 15 impact is confirmed, it would be the ninth recorded impact on Jupiter, since the first in July 1994.

The first such impact to be ever seen and recorded from Earth on the biggest planet of the solar system was Shoemaker-Levy 9 that in 1994 took a death plunge on the gas giant. According to Nasa, when the comet was first discovered in 1993, it had already broken off into 20 pieces travelling around Jupiter in a two-year orbit.

Such impact events reveal crucial details about the surface they hit, just as by studying Shoemaker-Levy 9 scientists were able to track high-altitude winds on Jupiter for the first time that emerged from the impact.


India today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.