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Jupiter Impact 2009
Stu
post Jul 19 2009, 08:13 PM
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Very interesting observation of a dark mark on Jupiter... it's starting to ripple out across Twitter...

http://www.irishastronomy.org/cms/forum?fu...;id=79644#79647

More info: http://www.acquerra.com.au/astro/ObsReport...ter-impact.html


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ugordan
post Jul 19 2009, 08:23 PM
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Precisely 15 years after Shoemaker-Levy 9 barrage. If only we had advance notice, maybe this time it was a dayside impact...


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dvandorn
post Jul 19 2009, 08:26 PM
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I daresay it wasn't a cometary impact, as a comet of any reasonable size (i.e., big enough to leave such a visible mark) would have been spotted before now, I would imagine. As long as it had an observable coma and tail, that is (which comets usually do by the time they reach Jupiter's orbit).

-the other Doug


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SFJCody
post Jul 19 2009, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE (ugordan @ Jul 19 2009, 09:23 PM) *
If only we had advance notice


One of many reasons why we need LSST and Pan-Starrs. They'll get pretty much everything right down to the crumbs.

QUOTE (dvandorn @ Jul 19 2009, 09:26 PM) *
I daresay it wasn't a cometary impact, as a comet of any reasonable size (i.e., big enough to leave such a visible mark) would have been spotted before now, I would imagine.


SL9 was in orbit around Jupiter from the 60s or 70s. It didn't get spotted until after it had made a particularly close approach in 1992. This seems to have been the point at which it got pulled apart.
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Floyd
post Jul 19 2009, 08:48 PM
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Now picked up by astronomy.


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tasp
post Jul 19 2009, 09:48 PM
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Maybe we are getting another Venus ??


laugh.gif

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nprev
post Jul 19 2009, 09:59 PM
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Interesting! It does look quite a bit like one of the big SL9 hits; seems to be a hint of dark 'fallout' to the right of the spot. Gotta wait for an authoritative call from the pros, of course.

Not too surprising, really, but so cool that we're seeing it. Jupiter probably sucks up at least a dozen or so comets every century. (oDoug, I'd guess that it probably was a previously undetected comet that came straight in unlike SL9's capture/decay.)


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volcanopele
post Jul 19 2009, 11:06 PM
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Very cool. Given how much Jupiter eats comets and asteroids, wouldn't be all that surprising. Now if only this would happen on Saturn wink.gif

Otherwise, the monolith seems to be a year early wink.gif


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john_s
post Jul 20 2009, 02:42 AM
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I started my own topic, but then nprev pointed out that Stu beat me to it here, so I'm reposting...

It looks pretty convincing to me. Apparently it wasn't there a couple of days ago.

The clincher will be methane-band images which will reveal whether the dark spot is at low altitude (and thus meteorological) or at high altitude (and thus probably impact-generated). The NASA Infrared Telescope on Mauna Kea is planning to check it out tonight, and I'm sure there will be lots more amateur images soon.

nprev asked how soon Hubble could be reprogrammed to look at this, if it was considered worthwhile. It's normally a couple of weeks at the shortest, but with the post-repair recommisioning still in progress, it might be harder to respond so quickly at the moment.

John.
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volcanopele
post Jul 20 2009, 02:50 AM
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No problem. This topic belongs in the Telescope Observations sub-forum anyway, so I'm moving this there.


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nprev
post Jul 20 2009, 03:02 AM
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QUOTE (john_s @ Jul 19 2009, 06:42 PM) *
...how soon Hubble could be reprogrammed to look at this, if it was considered worthwhile. It's normally a couple of weeks at the shortest, but with the post-repair recommisioning still in progress, it might be harder to respond so quickly at the moment.


Yeah, I was afraid of that, but had to ask. If it is an impact (scar? tear? hole? astrobleme? What do we call atmospheric impact artifacts on the gas giants, anyhow???) it probably won't persist for more than a few weeks regardless.

Guess it's up to the big Earthside observatories to carry this one. Clear skies & good luck, you guys!


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tedstryk
post Jul 20 2009, 04:57 AM
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They have already done one science observation (a KBO mutual event with STIS that couldn't be rescheduled), so it might be doable. I took a look when Jupiter was low in the sky earlier this evening, just be fore it rotated out of view. It is definitely visible, but if it is an impact, it definitely isn't as big as the large SL-9 fragments. Incidentally, I was looking at it with exactly the same setup (scope (10 inch) and eyepiece) that I used for SL-9.


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Guest_Sunspot_*
post Jul 20 2009, 07:38 AM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Jul 19 2009, 09:13 PM) *
Very interesting observation of a dark mark on Jupiter... it's starting to ripple out across Twitter...

http://www.irishastronomy.org/cms/forum?fu...;id=79644#79647

More info: http://www.acquerra.com.au/astro/ObsReport...ter-impact.html


What Twitter sites would that be?? I've only looked at the Phoenix Lander on Twitter so far.
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Stu
post Jul 20 2009, 07:52 AM
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Universe Today... Bad Astronomer... sites like that.


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djellison
post Jul 20 2009, 08:15 AM
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I'm wondering if the fact that Hubble is still in a recomissioning phase means that maybe, quick turnaround response for an orbit or two won't be too hard. I hope Damian Peach has had a look at it smile.gif
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