Jupiter Impact Sequence

August 10, 2009


Photographer: John Chumack, Galactic Images
Summary Author: John Chumack; Jim Foster

The photo sequence above shows the impact region of a comet or icy asteroid that slammed into Jupiter last month. It was captured from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio on July 28, 2009, from approximately 2:00 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. local time (Eastern Daylight Time). Sometime in mid July, this object dashed into Jupiter's southern hemisphere, relatively near its south pole. A huge hole resulted, which was visible, telescopically, from Earth. The impact signature was discovered by Australian amateur astronomer, Anthony Wesley, on July 19 and confirmed by NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility at Mauna Kea, Hawaii. See the impact video below. Over 51,820 useable frames were used to compile this link. Basically, 2.5 hours of Jupiter’s rotation is compressed to about 10 seconds of video. Curiously, this impact occurred almost 15 years to the day when multiple fragments from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter in 1994.

Photo details: using A DMK 21AF04 Fire-wire Camera; with 2x Barlow lens; Optec Filter Wheel; attached to a Meade 10"(3150 mm FL) SCT telescope.

Processing details: DMK IC Capture Software; Maxim DL for alignment; Adobe PS for processing Windows movie maker for WMV file.