Latest in Science

Image credit:

Amateur astronomers caught a Jupiter impact on camera

An asteroid or comet smacked into the gas giant, and there's telescope video to prove it.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 29, 2016
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

John McKeon

Jupiter gets hit by wayward celestial objects surprisingly often (about once per year), but you'd be forgiven if you didn't know it. Not all of them are visible, and professionals can only observe so much. However, the rise in readily accessible astronomy tech just helped detect one of these encounters. Amateur astronomers from Austria and Ireland have recorded videos showing that something, most likely an asteroid or comet, struck Jupiter on March 17th. The collision only lasted for a split second (blink and you'll miss it in the videos below) but it was ferocious -- even if the object was only a few hundred feet across, Jupiter's intense gravity guaranteed a high-velocity impact that would be visible from Earth.

It'd take much more data to explain what happened in detail. However, the very fact that it was caught on camera at all is telling. It shows that the combination of low-cost telescopes, video capture and easy online sharing is producing the kind of collaborative stargazing that scientists yearn for. There's an increasingly good chance that someone, somewhere is not only watching a given patch of sky, but can share their findings to confirm unusual events.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Vava’s 4K ultra short-throw projector is $840 off at Amazon

Vava’s 4K ultra short-throw projector is $840 off at Amazon

View
Scientists find neutrinos from star fusion for the first time

Scientists find neutrinos from star fusion for the first time

View
Engadget readers get $200 off Roomba's i7+ vacuum at Wellbots

Engadget readers get $200 off Roomba's i7+ vacuum at Wellbots

View
Google shows off 'Cyberpunk 2077' running on Stadia at 4K

Google shows off 'Cyberpunk 2077' running on Stadia at 4K

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr