A Jupiter Smack

24 May 2010

At www.physorg.com/print193567610.html May 21st ... the impact of a large celestial object with the planet Jupiter last year is the subject of a paper in Astrophycical Journal Letters. It struck the planet near it's southern pole on its dark side which prevented direct observation of the smack - but was picked up a few hours afterwards by an amateur astronomer in Australia. When the world was alerted and the big telescope boys dusted off their lenses  they found black ash and other material from the smack had developed into a mushroom cloud about 5000km in diameter in the atmosphere of Jupiter. It was surrounded by a halo, extending to some 8000km, as the material began to fall back down again. It is now said that collisions with Jupiter are more frequent than previously estimated and occur at the surprising rate of one in every 10 years.