SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – It looks like Jupiter got smacked by a cosmic rock this month and more than one stargazer actually caught it on video.
An amateur astronomer in Austria was filming Jupiter on his 20cm telescope when caught what appeared to be evidence of an asteroid or comet making impact with the gas giant.
Gerrit Kernbauer says he filmed it on March 17 and uploaded the video on YouTube. He said he didn’t even bother to process the footage for several days because visibility “was not the best.” When he finally did, he noticed a strange light on the edge of the planetary disc.
“My only explanation for this is an asteroid or comet that enters Jupiter’s high atmosphere and burned up/explode very fast,” he wrote on his post.
WATCH KERNBAUER’S VIDEO
On that same night, miles away in Ireland, John McKeon was recording the transit of Jupiter’s moons using his 11-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and an ASI12mm camera. He got more, though. Like Kernbauer, he caught the cosmic smackdown on video and uploaded it to YouTube.
“The original purpose of the imaging session was to get this time-lapse, with a happy coincidence of the impact in the second last capture of the night.”
WATCH MCKEON’S VIDEO