Skip to comments.Jupiter Has Taken a Massive Meteor Hit (So Earth Didnít Have To)
Posted on 09/12/2012 2:41:21 PM PDT by LibWhacker
On Monday, Jupiter took a massive hit from a meteor, which was spotted by amateur astronomers based in the USand if previous evidence is anything to go by, it could have saved Earth from a massive collision in the process.
Dan Peterson of Racine, Wisconsin, was gazing at Jupiter on Monday when he saw a bright, white flash on the surface of the planet. When he posted his observation online, another astrophotographer, George Hall, discovered he'd unknowingly captured the massive explosion on video.
Turns out it was probably a meteor striking the surface of the planetand you can watch the video below. In fact, this is evidence of Jupiter's protective effect as far as Earth is concerned. Because the planet is so massive Jupiter's gravitational field sucks a great many asteroids and comets towards it, which means that there are fewer threats to our humble little planet.
Which is just as well: a similar metoer strike in 2009 caused a bruise on the face of Jupiter the size of the Pacific Ocean. [George 1985 via Space]
Short YouTube video of the impact
Could be the meteor fragmenting as it hit the atmosphere. The smaller chunks would disperse around the large projectile.
As a gas giant, I’m not sure you can say that it hit the “surface” but it’s an interesting event.
I think that this was intended for Earth on December 21st. Must be the Mayans didn’t factor Jupiter into their calculations.
That was a big hit. Given the relative size of Jupiter versus the Earth, it would have been nasty if it had come our way.
One day it WILL come our way.
THANK YOU JUPITER!!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!
So! The Shoemaker-Levy event is not as rare as originally thought.
I realized today that I’m a FReeper of the apocalypse. My sign up anniversary is on the day the world is supposed to live.
FReepers of the apocalypse, lets ride!
Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
I don’t understand why we assume that it protects us. Seems to me that there is an equal chance that asteroids and comets could be nudged inward as well.
The only thing tilting the scale in favor of protection is that some will get caught in Jupiter’s gravity and crash into the planet.
Nobody was talking about December 21 as the end of the world until you signed up ;-)
Thank you Jupiter.
I would hate to think that we would have to rely on Steve Buscemi to do anything.
Jupiter had it coming.
Amazing. Almost as if God put it out there... :)
You just better hope I don’t find 3 more FReepers who signed up on the 21st of December.
"Jupiter's chickennnnnnnnnnnnnnns...coming home to roost!"
That flash was about the same size as our planet. So yeah, thanks Jupiter! You took one for our team.
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