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Space Science

Amateur Astronomers Spot Jovian Blast 86

RocketAcademy writes "Spaceweather.com reports an explosion on Jupiter, which was detected by two amateur astronomers. According to Spaceweather.com, the event occurred at 11:35 Universal Time on September 10. Dan Peterson of Racine, Wisconsin, observing through a 12-inch Meade telescope, observed a white flash lasting for 1.5-2 seconds. George Hall of Dallas, Texas was capturing a video of Jupiter at the time, which also captured the event. It's believed that the explosion was due to a comet or small asteroid collision. Similar events were observed in the past, in June and August 2010."
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Amateur Astronomers Spot Jovian Blast

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  • random thoughts... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tastecicles ( 1153671 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @01:46PM (#41302519)

    SL-9 was a farside impact. This, apparently, was a nearside (not much detail in the video). We should be worried, it could easily, since it obviously came from within Jupiter's orbit, have intersected with Earth. Anybody who has access to the object's orbital parameters which show that this would have been with 100% certainty, impossible, please feel free to call me a paranoid freak at this point; but we are overdue an ELE (Extinction Level Event) by about 15 million years (I keep reading around the science journals about ELEs happening about every 50 million years, the last one was what? 65 million years ago (the K-T Event)?

  • by RapidEye ( 322253 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:12PM (#41302921) Homepage

    I'll get out my 18" f/4.5 Obsession tonight and see if I can spot the scars.
    The last time this happened, there were black holes in Jupiter's clouds that persisted for several weeks.
    Unlike the last time this happened, its perfectly clear here in the Carolinas!
    Amateur Astronomers FTW!

  • by cusco ( 717999 ) <brian@bixby.gmail@com> on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:25PM (#41303123)
    I find this more than a little disturbing. I remember when Comet Shoemaker-Levy hit Jupiter and astronomers were saying that the impact was a 'once in a lifetime' or 'once in a century' event. Just a couple of years ago other scars from an impact that wasn't witnessed (possibly far side) showed up, and now we have another. Sure, it might be a statistical fluke and there may not be another impact for 500 years, but it seems to me as though estimates of the amount of material wandering around the inner solar system might be quite low.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:54PM (#41303629)

    Wouldn't it just be a big randomizer of orbital paths? Why does it make kicking stuff away from us
    more likely than kicking stuff towards us? I'm not saying it isn't (a big cleaner), just curious
    about the logic.

    Because it is so big it can eject objects out of the solar system. And while it could easily direct an object towards the inner solar system, after billions of years the ones that it has ejected have decreased the total number enough that the inner solar system is a safe place.

Loose bits sink chips.