An astrophotograph was able to capture the moment a meteorite exploded in Jupiter’s atmosphere. According to the video, the explosion was large enough to be seen and recorded from Earth.
A FLASH ON JUPITER
Astrophotographer Ethan Chappel, who lives in Texas, was taking photos and videos of Jupiter using his specialized camera.
After reviewing the images, he saw something that appeared to be a bright white flash near the lower left side of the planet, just below the equator.
Experts believe the flash probably came from a bolide, which is a meteorite that exploded in the air after entering the planet’s atmosphere. The Earth is thrown by the bolides on a regular basis, but since many of these rocks are really small, they usually burn in the atmosphere before reaching the ground.
Like the Earth, it is also very common for Jupiter to receive regular visits from bolides and asteroids. In fact, according to a study published in the Astronomical Journal, the rate of meteorite impacts on Jupiter is about two thousand to eight thousand higher than that of Earth.
After watching Chappel’s video, astronomer Jonti Horner of South Queensland University praised Chappel for capturing a rare cosmic video.
Although asteroids and meteorites hitting planets are very common, it is remarkable to be able to record such an event. He noted that there are many factors in space that can prevent such events from being seen from Earth.
Imaged Jupiter tonight. Looks awfully like an impact flash in the SEB. Happened on 2019-08-07 at 4:07 UTC. pic.twitter.com/KSis9RZrgP
— Chappel Astro (@ChappelAstro) 7 Ağustos 2019