A fireball thought to be an asteroid or comet hitting the surface of Jupiter was captured by two amateur astronomers early Monday, spaceweather.com reports.
One of the astronomers, identified as George Hall from Dallas, posted a screen shot in multiple reports and wrote about the discovery on his blog, George’s Astrophotography.
“The impact was observed by Dan Peterson visually this morning,” Hall wrote, crediting another space enthusiast with making the initial observation and posting what he saw online.
“When I saw the post, I went back and examined the videos that I had collected this morning …” he wrote in a post describing how he captured a video of the impact. “The video was captured with a 12" LX200GPS, 3x Televue Barlow, and Point Grey Flea 3 camera. The capture software was Astro IIDC.”
Hall posted a four-second video of the impact. He wrote that it was taken at about 6:35 a.m. Monday on his Flickr page.
A NASA Science News post from September 2010 stated: “Jupiter is getting hit surprisingly often by small asteroids, lighting up the giant planet's atmosphere with frequent fireballs.”