2010 Jupiter impact event

The 2010 Jupiter impact event was a bolide impact event on Jupiter by an object estimated to be about 8–13 meters in diameter.[1] The impactor may have been an asteroid, comet, centaur, extinct comet, or temporary satellite capture.

2010 Jupiter impact event
Hs-2010-20-a-web print
Observations made by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
DateJune 3, 2010


2010 Jupiter impact event

The impact happened 3 June 2010, and was recorded and first reported by amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley from Australia. The event was confirmed by Christopher Go at the Philippines, who recorded the event, and has released a video.[2][3][4] Wesley is the same person who had been first to report the 2009 Jupiter impact event.

The observed flash lasted about two seconds.[2][5] It was located in the South Equatorial Belt, about fifty degrees from the central meridian.[6] The June 2010 superbolide impactor probably measured between 8–13 meters across, with a mass between 500–2000 metric tons.[7] Jupiter probably gets hit by several objects of this size each year.[7]

On 20 August 2010 UT, yet another flash event was detected on Jupiter.[8] As of August 23 two other observers had recorded the same event.[9]

Other impacts

1994 impact

In July 1994 the Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 broke apart and collided with Jupiter, resulting in a series of hits. This incident had been predicted in advance.

2009 impact

Hubble image of the scar taken on 23 July 2009 during the 2009 Jupiter impact event, showing a blemish of about 8,000 kilometres long.[10]

On 19 July 2009 an impact was observed, which caused a black spot on Jupiter's atmosphere. This unpredicted event was first reported by Anthony Wesley, who also first observed the 2010 event.[2] The 2009 impact has been studied by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and the study suggests that the observed incident was a hit by an asteroid about 500 metres wide.[11]

2012 impact

On 10 September 2012 at 11:35 UT amateur astronomer Dan Petersen visually detected a fireball on Jupiter that lasted 1 or 2 seconds using a Meade 12″ LX200.[12] George Hall had been recording Jupiter with a webcam on his 12" Meade; upon hearing the news Hall checked the video to see if the impact was captured. Hall had indeed captured a 4-second clip of the impact and released the video to the public. The impact's estimated position in the system was longitude = 345 and latitude = +2.[13] Dr Michael H. Wong estimated that the fireball was created by a meteoroid less than 10 meters in diameter.[13] Several collisions of this size may happen on Jupiter on a yearly basis.[13] The 2012 impact was the 5th impact observed on Jupiter, and the fourth impact seen on Jupiter between 2009 and 2012. It was quite similar to the flash observed on 20 August 2010.[12]

2016 Impact

On March 17, 2016 an impact's fireball observed on Jupiter's limb was recorded by Gerrit Kernbauer, Moedling, Austria with an 8" telescope operating at f/15. This report was later confirmed by an independent observation by amateur John McKeon.[14][15]

See also


  1. ^ Hueso, R.; A. Wesley; C. Go; S. Pérez-Hoyos; M. H. Wong; L. N. Fletcher; A. Sánchez-Lavega; M. B. E. Boslough; I. de Pater; G. S. Orton; et al. (2010). "First Earth-based Detection of a Superbolide on Jupiter". The Astrophysical Journal. 721 (2). arXiv:1009.1824. Bibcode:2010ApJ...721L.129H. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/721/2/L129.
  2. ^ a b c Sayanagi, Kunio M. (3 June 2010). "Jupiter hit by another impactor Thursday". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  3. ^ Bakich, Michael (4 June 2010). "Another impact on Jupiter". Astronomy Magazine online. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  4. ^ http://www.christone.net/astro/jupiter/index.htm
  5. ^ "Australian amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley films Jupiter impact". The Daily Telegraph. 5 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  6. ^ Rogers, John H. "New impact on Jupiter before & after". British Astronomical Association. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  7. ^ a b "WITHOUT A TRACE – A FLASH IN JUPITER'S SKY". Gemini Observatory. 2010-09-09. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  8. ^ "Optical flash on Jupiter". Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  9. ^ Beatty, Kelly (22 August 2010). "Another Flash on Jupiter!". Sky & Telescope. Sky Publishing. Retrieved 23 August 2010. Masayuki Tachikawa was observing ... 18:22 Universal Time on the 20th ... Kazuo Aoki posted an image ... Ishimaru of Toyama prefecture observed the event
  10. ^ Dennis Overbye (24 July 2009). "Hubble Takes Snapshot of Jupiter's 'Black Eye'". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Hubble Images Suggest Rogue Asteroid Smashed Jupiter". 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 7 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  12. ^ a b Franck Marchis (2012-09-10). "Another fireball on Jupiter?". Cosmic Diary blog. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  13. ^ a b c Franck Marchis (2012-09-11). "Flash on Jupiter – most likely a meteor". Cosmic Diary blog. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
  14. ^ Plait, Phil (29 March 2016). "Jupiter Got Whacked by Yet Another Asteroid/Comet!". www.slate.com. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  15. ^ Dvorsky, George (29 March 2016). "Something Just Slammed Into Jupiter". gizmodo.com. Retrieved 12 April 2016.

External links

2009 Jupiter impact event

The 2009 Jupiter impact event, occasionally referred to as the Wesley impact, was a July 2009 impact on Jupiter that caused a black spot in the planet's atmosphere. The impact area covered 190 million square kilometers, similar in area to the planet's Little Red Spot and approximately the size of the Pacific Ocean. The impactor is estimated to have been about 200 to 500 meters in diameter. (For comparison, the one for the Tunguska event was estimated to be in the 60–190 meters range.)

Atmosphere of Jupiter

The atmosphere of Jupiter is the largest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System. It is mostly made of molecular hydrogen and helium in roughly solar proportions; other chemical compounds are present only in small amounts and include methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and water. Although water is thought to reside deep in the atmosphere, its directly measured concentration is very low. The nitrogen, sulfur, and noble gas abundances in Jupiter's atmosphere exceed solar values by a factor of about three.The atmosphere of Jupiter lacks a clear lower boundary and gradually transitions into the liquid interior of the planet. From lowest to highest, the atmospheric layers are the troposphere, stratosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. Each layer has characteristic temperature gradients. The lowest layer, the troposphere, has a complicated system of clouds and hazes, comprising layers of ammonia, ammonium hydrosulfide and water. The upper ammonia clouds visible at Jupiter's surface are organized in a dozen zonal bands parallel to the equator and are bounded by powerful zonal atmospheric flows (winds) known as jets. The bands alternate in color: the dark bands are called belts, while light ones are called zones. Zones, which are colder than belts, correspond to upwellings, while belts mark descending gas. The zones' lighter color is believed to result from ammonia ice; what gives the belts their darker colors is uncertain. The origins of the banded structure and jets are not well understood, though a "shallow model" and a "deep model" exist.The Jovian atmosphere shows a wide range of active phenomena, including band instabilities, vortices (cyclones and anticyclones), storms and lightning. The vortices reveal themselves as large red, white or brown spots (ovals). The largest two spots are the Great Red Spot (GRS) and Oval BA, which is also red. These two and most of the other large spots are anticyclonic. Smaller anticyclones tend to be white. Vortices are thought to be relatively shallow structures with depths not exceeding several hundred kilometers. Located in the southern hemisphere, the GRS is the largest known vortex in the Solar System. It could engulf two or three Earths and has existed for at least three hundred years. Oval BA, south of GRS, is a red spot a third the size of GRS that formed in 2000 from the merging of three white ovals.Jupiter has powerful storms, often accompanied by lightning strikes. The storms are a result of moist convection in the atmosphere connected to the evaporation and condensation of water. They are sites of strong upward motion of the air, which leads to the formation of bright and dense clouds. The storms form mainly in belt regions. The lightning strikes on Jupiter are hundreds of times more powerful than those seen on Earth, and are assumed to be associated with the water clouds. This storm near the red spot is called Red Spot Junior.

Impact event

An impact event is a collision between astronomical objects causing measurable effects. Impact events have physical consequences and have been found to regularly occur in planetary systems, though the most frequent involve asteroids, comets or meteoroids and have minimal effect. When large objects impact terrestrial planets such as the Earth, there can be significant physical and biospheric consequences, though atmospheres mitigate many surface impacts through atmospheric entry. Impact craters and structures are dominant landforms on many of the Solar System's solid objects and present the strongest empirical evidence for their frequency and scale.

Impact events appear to have played a significant role in the evolution of the Solar System since its formation. Major impact events have significantly shaped Earth's history, have been implicated in the formation of the Earth–Moon system, the evolutionary history of life, the origin of water on Earth and several mass extinctions. The famous prehistoric Chicxulub impact, 66 million years ago, is believed to be the cause of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.Throughout recorded history, hundreds of Earth impacts (and exploding bolides) have been reported, with some occurrences causing deaths, injuries, property damage, or other significant localised consequences. One of the best-known recorded events in modern times was the Tunguska event, which occurred in Siberia, Russia, in 1908. The 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor event is the only known such incident in modern times to result in a large number of injuries, excluding the 1490 Ch'ing-yang event in China. The Chelyabinsk meteor is the largest recorded object to have encountered the Earth since the Tunguska event.

The Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 impact provided the first direct observation of an extraterrestrial collision of Solar System objects, when the comet broke apart and collided with Jupiter in July 1994. An extrasolar impact was observed in 2013, when a massive terrestrial planet impact was detected around the star ID8 in the star cluster NGC 2547 by NASA's Spitzer space telescope and confirmed by ground observations. Impact events have been a plot and background element in science fiction.

In April 2018, the B612 Foundation reported "It’s 100 per cent certain we’ll be hit [by a devastating asteroid], but we’re not 100 per cent certain when." Also in 2018, physicist Stephen Hawking, in his final book Brief Answers to the Big Questions, considered an asteroid collision to be the biggest threat to the planet. In June 2018, the US National Science and Technology Council warned that America is unprepared for an asteroid impact event, and has developed and released the "National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy Action Plan" to better prepare. According to expert testimony in the United States Congress in 2013, NASA would require at least five years of preparation before a mission to intercept an asteroid could be launched.

List of Jupiter events

In recorded history, the planet Jupiter has experienced impact events and has been probed and photographed by several spacecraft.

On Earth
On Jupiter
See also
Exploration and
orbiting missions

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