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Fascinating video shows comet impacting Jupiter March 17th 2016.


PI Member
Dec 22, 2015
Two wonderful videos showing the impact of a comet on Jupiter.

These two different amateur astronomers happened to catch an object impacting Jupiter back on March 17th. Here are their videos.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LiL7RYG7ac

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAJI4gqX3Zg

The brief flash on Jupiter's limb is the object basically vaporizing as it hits Jupiter's atmosphere. Jupiter's substantial gravity means that objects hit its atmosphere at much higher velocities than rocks that hit earth. That means much more energy is released for a given impactor size, so it doesn't take a very large rock to make a flash bright enough to be seen from earth.

This isn't the first time an impact like this has been caught by amateur astronomers. The proliferation of "lucky imaging" of the planets and video astronomy in the last couple of decades has meant that the major outer planets like Jupiter are now under nearly constant amateur surveillance.
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