Enormous impact flash seen lighting up Jupiter’s atmosphere

Astronomers spotted a huge space rock slamming into Jupiter, creating a blast of light and energy equivalent to 2 million tonnes of TNT – the brightest such event since 1994

Space 16 June 2022

Flash seen on Jupiter

A flash seen on Jupiter came from a massive rock slamming into the planet

Arimatsu et al/Kyoto University/PONCOTS

Astronomers have spotted a bright flash from a huge space rock slamming into Jupiter. This impact flash, seen in October 2021, was the brightest one since comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit the planet in 1994.

Impact flashes on other worlds are similar to meteorite strikes on Earth, but only the largest are visible from afar. Observing how these flashes affect other planets can help us understand what will happen to Earth’s atmosphere when similar-sized meteorites hit our planet. …

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