Jupiter.jpgSince it seems to be the week for space news, dramatic photos are emerging of what appears to be the results of a major impact on Jupiter.

Scientists have found evidence that another object has bombarded Jupiter, exactly 15 years after the first impacts by the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.

Following up on a tip by an amateur astronomer, Anthony Wesley of Australia, that a new dark “scar” had suddenly appeared on Jupiter, this morning between 3 and 9 a.m. PDT (6 a.m. and noon EDT) scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., using NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, gathered evidence indicating an impact.

Things like this are always interesting, but there’s another part of the story not being discussed here. That’s an impressive photo to be sure, but keep the scale in mind. Jupiter is huge. It’s often hard for us to conceive of exactly how large that planet really is. That “scar” you’re looking at is roughly the size of the Earth. So what does this mean?

It means that, very probably, an object recently struck Jupiter which was big enough to leave an impact signature the size of our entire planet, and we didn’t see it coming. Had it missed Jupiter and, through bad fortune, found it’s way on a direct collision course with Earth, we’d have had little or no time to prepare and we might not be sitting here today admiring the pretty pictures.

Support the NASA Near Earth Object program and let Congress know that it needs to be fully funded. If we’re going to blow all this money on stimulus ideas anyway, I can’t think of a more stimulating project than helping ensure our planet doesn’t go up in flames.

JAZZ SHAW, Assistant Editor
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Father_Time
Guest
Father_Time
7 years 2 months ago

Comet? Bit of a leap from “object” to “comet”.

Guest
Guest
Guest
6 years 10 months ago
Jupiter Strike The necessity of fright of religious night sky we are the boundaries of no man has the power of faith of religion is the story of fire versus the man of the fight of faith of his tasks of the EYE of the beholder of the orical of life is the mind of the universal mind set of his faith of life is the faith of the mind of the son of mine in the orical of collision we were in the fire of the orical system who dare fight the region of life of the defense mechanism… Read more »
HemmD
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HemmD
7 years 2 months ago

When Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit, scientists said that it was a once in ten thousand year occurrence. oops, so much for probability.

Jim_Satterfield
Guest
Jim_Satterfield
7 years 2 months ago

That’s exactly what I thought when I saw this last night, Jazz.

StockBoySF
Guest
StockBoySF
7 years 2 months ago

A space war between the gaseous citizens of Jupiter and Saturn! They’re so far advanced we don’t know what we’re looking at. :)

But seriously…. yes, we need to support NASA’s Near Earth Object program.

Dr J
Guest
Dr J
7 years 2 months ago
The Big One is coming for us here in California. Scientists give it a 70% likelihood in the next 30 years, because the geological record shows we’re clearly overdue. We’re doing things about it, encouraging people to keep supplies, seismic retrofitting buildings and bridges at great expense, though probably not as much as we should be. But real as the threat of annihilation from space is, it’s rather less imminent doom. The earth gets hit by something big at intervals of millions and millions of years. Odds are by the time the next one threatens us, we will be another… Read more »
Guest
Guest
Guest
6 years 10 months ago
Jupiter Strike The necessity of fright of religious night sky we are the boundaries of no man has the power of faith of religion is the story of fire versus the man of the fight of faith of his tasks of the EYE of the beholder of the orical of life is the mind of the universal mind set of his faith of life is the faith of the mind of the son of mine in the orical of collision we were in the fire of the orical system who dare fight the region of life of the defense mechanism… Read more »
barneystonehogg
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barneystonehogg
7 years 1 month ago

i saw the space shuttle tonite

hugepeng
Guest
hugepeng
7 years 27 days ago

My penis is what made the whole, Jupiter is just far to sexy not to love on. The comets were my balls, sorry.

Guest
Guest
Guest
6 years 10 months ago
Jupiter Strike The necessity of fright of religious night sky we are the boundaries of no man has the power of faith of religion is the story of fire versus the man of the fight of faith of his tasks of the EYE of the beholder of the orical of life is the mind of the universal mind set of his faith of life is the faith of the mind of the son of mine in the orical of collision we were in the fire of the orical system who dare fight the region of life of the defense mechanism… Read more »
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