Jupiter asteroid impact caught on video

Brittany A. Roston - Mar 29, 2016, 4:17pm CDT
Jupiter asteroid impact caught on video

While NASA is busy keeping an eye out for asteroids buzzing our way, some others have their eyes set on distant planets, hoping to catch a little action of their own. Amateur astronomer Gerrit Kernbauer was successful in this mission, managing to record an impact on Jupiter — likely an asteroid or a comet slamming into its surface. The impact created a large enough blast of debris to be seen in the relatively fuzzy, jumpy video, and provides a fascinating look at a sliver of action elsewhere in the universe.

Kernbauer caught the event on video using a 20cm telescope from his position in Moedling, Austria. He was recording video through the telescope, likely expecting nothing of interest (aside from, you know, so clearly seeing a planet so far away from our own). That’s when the surprise occurred, as shown below — something struck the planet, and though the object itself wasn’t visible, the impact was.

The impact was caught at 00:18:33 UTC; according to the video, it was recorded using an Alccd5L-IIc camera and a Newton 8” @ f/15 telescope. You’ll have to look carefully to see the impact — the video slows down, so you shouldn’t have much trouble.

If that wasn’t enough, someone else was observing the planet at the same time, as noted by Slate, and they caught the same impact (occurring March 17) on video. It is slightly more clear, and was recorded by John McKeon using a 28cm telescope. He recorded the event from near Dublin, Ireland. You can see that video below:


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