Another Impact on Jupiter captured by an Amateur | 20 August 2010
A third Jupiter impact event in thirteen months has been captured by yet another diligent amateur observer.
Japanese amateur astronomer Masayuki Tachikawa caught the possible fireball event in a video at 18:22 UT on 20 August as a brief, two second, brightening near the north edge of Jupiter’s Northern Equatorial Belt. The flash, likely a small asteroid or comet burning up in Jupiter’s atmosphere, was later confirmed by another Japanese astronomer Aoki Kazu. Astronomers watching Jupiter for two rotations after the event found no trace of the impact.
The flash bears a striking resemblance to that observed by Anthony Wesley from Australia and Christopher Go from the Philippines on 3 June this year, and follows the report of a larger impact event, also observed by Wesley in July 2009, that left a dark impact scar in Jupiter’s atmosphere exactly fifteen years after the famous collision of comet Shoemaker Levy-9 with the gas giant.
The observations not only demonstrate the importance of amateur observations for monitoring our Solar System environment, but also the relative frequency of impact events still occurring in our planetary neighborhood today 😀
Below are the videos taken by Go and Tachikawa: