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Giant "scar" on Jupiter spotted by Aussie stargazer

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Old 21-07-09, 06:44 AM
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Default Giant "scar" on Jupiter spotted by Aussie stargazer

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In this image released by NASA/JPL showing a large impact on Jupiter's south polar region captured on Monday, July 20, 2009, by NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Astronomers say Jupiter has apparently been struck by an object, possibly a comet.
(AP Photo/NASA/JPL)




CANBERRA (Reuters Life!) A large comet or asteroid has slammed into the Jupiter, creating an impact site the size of Earth, pictures by an Australian amateur astronomer show.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed the discovery using its large infrared telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, said computer programer Anthony Wesley, 44, who discovered the impact zone while stargazing at home.

News of Wesley's find on a backyard 14.5-inch reflecting telescope has stunned the astronomy world, with scientists saying the impact will last only days more.

Wesley said it took him 30 minutes to realize a dark spot rotating in Jupiter's clouds on July 19 was actually the first impact seen by astronomers since a comet collided with the giant planet in July 1994.

"I thought (it) likely to be just a normal dark polar storm," he said on his website www.acquerra.com.au/astro.

"However as it rotated further into view and the conditions improved I suddenly realized that it wasn't just dark, it was black in all channels, meaning it was truly a black spot," Wesley said from his home at Murrumbateman, north of Canberra.

Photographs show the impact zone, or "scar," near Jupiter's south polar region, with gases seen in infrared images.

"We are extremely lucky to be seeing Jupiter at exactly the right time, the right hour, the right side of Jupiter to witness the event. We couldn't have planned it better," NASA JPL scientist Glenn Orton told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

Orton confirmed the spot was an impact site and not a localized weather event in Jupiter's swirling surface, similar to the planet's famed red spot.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090721/...ter_asteroid_1
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Old 25-07-09, 10:16 AM
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Default Hubble pictures Jupiter's 'scar'

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Hubble has trained its new camera on the atmospheric disturbance on Jupiter believed to have been caused by a comet or asteroid impact.

The telescope used the Wide Field Camera 3 fitted on the recent shuttle servicing mission to capture ultra-sharp visible-light images of the scar.

The dark spot near the gas giant's southern pole was noticed first by an amateur Australian astronomer.

Some of the world's biggest telescopes have since taken detailed pictures.

Engineers at the US space agency, Nasa, interrupted the post-servicing commissioning of the refurbished Hubble to use the WFC-3.

"Because we believe this magnitude of impact is rare, we are very fortunate to see it with Hubble," said Amy Simon-Miller of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

more...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8168403.stm
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Old 25-07-09, 10:47 PM
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Does this mean that the dinosaurs on Jupiter face extinction?
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Old 25-07-09, 11:11 PM
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Does this mean that the dinosaurs on Jupiter face extinction?
Well, something like that.

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Old 26-07-09, 11:39 AM
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Does this mean that the dinosaurs on Jupiter face extinction?

By the way dancer, I read where a recent big earthquake moved New Zealand 12 inches closer to Australia!!
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Old 26-07-09, 08:39 PM
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Yeah.....bummer! (Bleeding Aussies will have us yet!)

It was rather large (7.3 on the Richter scale), but Fiordland is a national park inhabited only by a few native birds so there was no problem! Now if it had been centred on the Wellington or Wairarapa faults I might not be speaking to you now!
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