July 21, 2009

Backyard Astronomer Discovers Black Spot on Jupiter

A very cool story out of Australia: an amateur astronomer found a very recent impact scar on Jupiter, near its south pole (the dark spot on the picture to the left). The impact most likely happened sometime in the middle of the night, around midnight, Monday morning; the astronomer, Anthony Wesley, first saw the scar around 1 am, when the planet had rotated the scar into view. The cause of the impact is not known just yet, but was most likely a comet. NASA has confirmed the impact, but is still investigating. Interestingly enough, the impact happened fifteen years after the famous Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts back in late July 1994.

For the whole story, see Backyard astronomer discovers black spot on Jupiter - Times Online.

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