Although Earth's neighboring planets are millions of miles away, we are still able to catch a glimpse of them from time to time. Jupiter, the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in our solar system, is among the most studied for its size and composition. On August 29, the amateur astronomy account called MASA Planetary Log shared a stunning video of the gas giant. It captures the moment a large space object collides with Jupiter's surface.
The account was recording Jupiter's surface automatically with continuous images every so often. “When I woke up in the morning and opened X (Twitter), I saw information that a flash had been observed on the surface of Jupiter. That night, when I checked the video of the corresponding time, I saw a flash,” they said. “I was very lucky to be photographing this phenomenon when it happened.” It is believed that either a comet or an asteroid flew into the planet.
Collisions with Jupiter are not a rare occurrence. Due to its mass, which is more than all of the other planets combined, and its intense gravitational pull, it frequently attracts comets and asteroids, often protecting Earth in the process. The Organized Autotelescopes for Serendipitous Event Survey (OASES) provided a high-resolution image of the flash following the impact of the comet with Jupiter's atmosphere. It's fascinating to witness some of the phenomena that occur far away in space.
An amateur astronomy account captured footage of a comet colliding with Jupiter.
— MASA Planetary Log (@MASA_06R) August 29, 2023
Another account posted a photo of the flash seen on Jupiter's surface after the object made impact.
— 京都大学OASES/PONCOTSプロジェクト (@OASES_miyako) August 31, 2023