Something Big Smashed Into Jupiter And The Explosion Was So Big That Amateur Astronomers Saw The Flash

Amateur astronomer Ethan Chappel pointed his telescope at the gas giant planet Jupiter at just the right time and captured something crashing into the planet and a white flash from the collision on Aug. 7.

iStockphoto / Martin Holverda

Something very large smashed into Jupiter and it was so big that amateur astronomers on Earth were able to see the bright white flash at the time of impact.

An unidentified object slammed right into the side of the gas giant last week. On August 7, amateur astronomer Ethan Chappel was looking at Jupiter at the right second and took footage of something big slamming into the gas giant planet.

While it was an enormous impact, the collision did not seem to leave any atmospheric scars on the biggest planet in our solar system.

The collision created an explosion and a bright white flash that was viewable from Earth. Scientists are not completely positive what crashed into Jupiter, but most believe it was a large meteor.

“Another impact on Jupiter today,” astronomer Dr. Heidi B. Hammel wrote on Twitter. “A bolide (meteor) and not likely to leave dark debris like SL9 did 25 years ago.”

“SL9 is Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which famously impacted Jupiter in 1994,” CNET wrote. “Hammel led the team that used the Hubble Space Telescope to study the impact and how the planet’s gassy atmosphere responded.”

In other Jupiter news, the Hubble Space Telescope captured a magnificent image of the gas giant on June 27, 2019. NASA said the new image “reveals the giant planet’s trademark Great Red Spot, and a more intense color palette in the clouds swirling in Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere than seen in previous years. The colors, and their changes, provide important clues to ongoing processes in Jupiter’s atmosphere.”

The bands are created by differences in the thickness and height of the ammonia ice clouds. The colorful bands, which flow in opposite directions at various latitudes, result from different atmospheric pressures. Lighter bands rise higher and have thicker clouds than the darker bands.