Astronomers observing Jupiter were surprised when a large, unknown object appeared to crash into the gas giant.
At the time, many amateur astronomers were observing an ongoing transit of the shadow of Io, one of Jupiter’s moons, according to SpaceWeather.com. Suddenly, a “flash of light” appeared, German astrophotographer Harald Paleske told the site.
Incredibly, this will only be the eighth impact event observed on Jupiter since Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with the gas giant in 1994 and made history, providing the very first direct observation of two bodies colliding in the solar system.
As the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter’s gravitational influence means that it is also affected the most, we rarely see these collisions.
Due to its massive gravitational pull, Jupiter can act as a shield for Earth, sucking up any stray space rocks that might be heading our way.Due to its massive gravitational pull, Jupiter can act as a shield for Earth, sucking up any stray space rocks that might be heading our way.