Jupiter has just taken another interplanetary hit, and this time Japanese students were the first to find out about this impact. It is the 11th confirmed comet or asteroid strike at Jupiter ever since the first comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994.
Just over a month after five amateurs had recorded a small flash independently, a team led by Ko Arimoto from Kyoto University captured the latest spark in Jupiter’s clouds at 13:24 UT on Friday, October 15th.
To make their discovery, Arimatsu and his group used PONCOTS, a surveillance system part of the Organised Auto Telescopes for Serendipitous Event Survey project. It took place in Jupiter’s North Tropical Zone, near the southern edge of the North Temperate Belt. The event was located at latitude +20deg North (System II). The burst was visible in the video for approximately 4 seconds. It quickly rises to visibility, then maintains steady lighting for around 2 seconds before swiftly disappearing.
The Europlanet Society reports that six and a half objects of width 10 m across and larger hit Jupiter each year. This size is large enough for amateurs to observe. We’ve seen an increase in impacts over the years thanks to transient-alert software such as DeTeCt. In September, the most recent impact didn’t cause an obvious scar in the planet’s atmosphere. This one is also expected to do the same. Both events remind us of the dangers that remain in our solar system.
@yotsuyubi tweeted a tweet showing a similar flash from the impact of an asteroid on Jupiter.
閃光のあるところだけスタック、画像処理してみました。— よつ (@yotsuyubi21) October 16, 2021
Here is the video from last month’s asteroid impact on Jupiter, as viewed by a Brazilian observer.
Also read about Mysterious Perfectly Spherical Cloud Captured In Japan