Potential Asteroid Impact on Jupiter!

I saw this pop up on Reddit yesterday, where user /u/bubbleweed posted a video to r/astronomy showing Jupiter with a clear sign of an impactor.

It was independently observed in Austria at the exact same time.  Notice that both videos show the exact same thing.

In the reddit thread, users encourage the original poster to report it to the Planetary Virtual Observatory and Laboratory in hopes of getting follow up from the Hubble telescope.  It is strikingly similar to a 2010 confirmed impact event.

The ‘explosion’ of the potential impactor might make you think it’s fake, that it couldn’t explode because Jupiter isn’t solid.  But if you are moving quickly enough, anything is solid and hitting Jupiter’s atmosphere at 40 Km/s would be a spectacular blast, probably visible from Earth depending on the size of the impactor.

I certainly hope that ground based telescopes can follow up, and ideally Hubble, so we can see if there is any lingering effect on Jupiter’s atmosphere.  The scientific value of observing such events is significant, as it gives us a view of the deeper cloud layers and helps us infer what Jupiter might be like below the top atmospheric layers.

Keep your eyes on this story: I will provide updates as they come.

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