A bright fireball — most likely a small asteroid or a comet — struck Jupiter at 22:39 UTC on September 13, 2021. The impact was seen and captured by astronomers across the world who were observing the ongoing transit of the shadow of Jupiter's moon Io.
"A bright flash of light surprised me," German astronomer Harald Paleske, who video-recorded the event, told SpaceWeather.com.1
Paleske reviewed the frames and ruled out objects such as airplanes and satellites, which might have been crossing Jupiter at the time of his observation. "The fireball was fixed in Jupiter's atmosphere. It first appeared at 22:39:27 UT on September 13 and remained visible for a full two seconds."
The most likely explanation is a small asteroid or comet striking the giant planet; an asteroid in the 100 m (330 feet) size range would do the trick.
A new impact flash has been discovered on Jupiter by Brazilian observer Jose Luis Pereira – the flash occurred at Sep 13th, 22:39:30 UTC. It looks quite a bright one. Follow up images of this region will be useful to see if any dark scar was left following the event. pic.twitter.com/LL9rDGvodm
— Damian Peach (@peachastro) September 14, 2021
Impact Flash on Jupiter confirmed by at least 2 amateur astronomers: H. Paleske in Germany & by J.P. Arnould in France. See attached images & for more info about past Jupiter impact events: https://t.co/VIpSt2TQfn #astronomy #jupiter #impact pic.twitter.com/0kMP7iRMao
— Ernesto Guido (@comets77) September 14, 2021
Jupiter impact on September 13, 2021. Credit: Harold Paleske via. SpaceWeather
1 Something just hit Jupiter – SpaceWeather
Featured image credit: Harold Peske via SpaceWeather
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