09/20/2021 11:52 AM
Updated 09/20/2021 11:52 AM
Many of the great contributions to modern astronomy were made by amateurs who, from their own telescope and for no other purpose than gentle contemplation, managed to portray a unique moment in space.
This is the case of
José Luis Pereira,
who managed to capture how a 100-meter asteroid was crashing against the surface of Jupiter
with the power of hundreds of times the Hiroshima bombs.
On Sunday, September 12, Pereira, in the city of São Caetano do Sul, São Paulo, installed his equipment to photograph Jupiter and capture videos.
It was thus that he managed to collect about 25 clips,
some very fuzzy and only a few with a certain degree of sharpness.
"To my surprise, in the first video I noticed a different brightness on the planet, but I didn't pay much attention to it because I thought it could be something related to the parameters adopted, and I continued to see normally," Pereira said.
However, the next day after reviewing the results for the DeTeCt program, he discovered that an alert had been raised due to the high probability of impact on the same video,
which later ended up being positive
The event was quickly reported by various agencies and observers on the planet, such as the Caribbean Astronomy Society, who pointed out that
the object had a diameter of one hundred meters
A 100-meter asteroid hit Jupiter yesterday.
Amateur astronomers photographing the planet at 6:39 pm AST yesterday caught the sudden round white spot that was visible for two to three seconds.
More: https: //t.co/idXxqK81Oo
Photos: José Luis Pereira / Harald Paleske pic.twitter.com/2QSd4f5SHj
- SocAstronomyCaribe (@Soc_AstroCaribe) September 14, 2021
Although it seems like a simple task, for this event to be achieved from Earth it is necessary that Saturn and Mars
have been aligned with the gas giant
, but also that there are clear skies to achieve a clean image.
And while it is not uncommon for this type of situation to occur on the largest planet in the Solar System, what is unusual is that someone manages to record it.
But even more curious is that there
have been several astronomers simultaneously who managed to record the bombardment.
Once Marc Delcroix, from the French Astronomical Society, confirmed that the images corresponded to an impact, Pereira published
the processed image of the flash and a video of the moment in which it occurred
In the image you can see a small white point that corresponds to the brightness of the impact.
If it weren't for the fact that Jupiter's surface is so bright and offers little contrast, the impact would have been large enough to
have been seen with the naked eye from Earth
, several experts said.
"After the collision, the rock disintegrated forming a ball of fire and releasing an energy equivalent to
an atomic bomb on Earth of great power, between 50 and 100 times that of Hiroshima,
" said astrophysicist Ricardo Hueso, from the University of the Basque Country.
According to ScienceAlert, precisely how often Jupiter is struck to produce visible flashes from Earth is unknown, but this is estimated to
occur between 20 and 60 times a year
Astronomer Jonti Horner from the University of South Quennsland in Australia pointed out that it is not easy to have a record since many times these things go unnoticed and cannot be observed.
“Half of them will occur on the other side of the planet.
There are many factors that work against us to see these events, "he added.
Light on at Jupiter!
This bright impact flash was spotted yesterday on the giant planet by astronomer José Luis Pereira.
Not a lot of info on the impacting object yet but its likely to be large and / or fast!
Thanks Jupiter for taking the hit☄️ # PlanetaryDefence pic.twitter.com/XLFzXjW4KQ
- ESA Operations (@esaoperations) September 14, 2021
The European Space Agency (ESA) spoke on Twitter about the sighting: "There is still not much information about the object that impacted, but it is likely to be large or fast!", Said the entity.
If this fact is confirmed by the scientific community, this record would be
the eighth impact event observed on Jupiter since Comet Shoemaker-Levy
9 collided with it in 1994. That collision produced a series of impacts and left several dark spots on the clouds of the planet, known as "scars".
Astrophysicists point out that Jupiter fulfills a protective function with our planet since it
acts as a vacuum cleaner that absorbs all those
that could eventually collide with the Earth.
Thus, the fragments that reach our planet are small enough not to cause any damage.
This is because the gas giant is
1,300 times larger than Earth
, it has such powerful gravity that it pulls asteroids and other space bodies through its orbit.
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