Breaking News: Possible New Impact Spot on Jupiter!

In breaking news, Anthony Wesley from Canberra, Australia looks to have captured a new impact spot on Jupiter.

Anthony’s image below shows the new dark spot in the South Polar Region (SPR) of Jupiter, at approximately 216° longitude in System 2. It looks very similar to the impact marks made on Jupiter when comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into the gas giant in 1994.

New Impact Spot, imaged by Anthony Wesley

New Impact Spot, imaged by Anthony Wesley

You can read Anthony’s commentary about the image and see other images from the session at Anthony’s temporary website, and you can join in the discussions with Anthony on this forum thread on IceInSpace.

Dr John Rogers, Jupiter Section Director of the British Astronomical Association, seems to confirm opinion that it is an impact site. He says:

Congratulations on this amazing discovery — I agree with you and everyone else that this is an impact site, with a blur to the NW indicating the direction of the trajectory. The location was featureless in your even-higher-resolution image 2 days earlier.

In the latest news (9pm AEST), Glenn Orton of the JPL is imaging the site now with the NASA Infrared Telescope and he’s just told Anthony it’s an impact. So I guess that’s official!!

News of Anthony’s discovery has gone around the globe like wildfire today. It was all over twitter, it’s been published on the Bad Astronomy BlogUniverse TodaySlashDot (which killed Anthony’s webserver!), SpaceWeather and more.

The list below shows the times (in UT) when the impact mark will be visible again (generated in WinJupos by Hans-Joerg Mettig.

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2009 Jul 19 06:09 ( 216°) 16:05 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 20 02:00 ( 216°) 11:56 ( 216°) 21:52 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 21 07:47 ( 216°) 17:43 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 22 03:38 ( 216°) 13:34 ( 216°) 23:30 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 23 09:25 ( 216°) 19:21 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 24 05:16 ( 216°) 15:12 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 25 01:08 ( 216°) 11:03 ( 216°) 20:59 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 26 06:54 ( 216°) 16:50 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 27 02:45 ( 216°) 12:41 ( 216°) 22:37 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 28 08:32 ( 216°) 18:28 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 29 04:23 ( 216°) 14:19 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 30 00:15 ( 216°) 10:10 ( 216°) 20:06 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 31 06:01 ( 216°) 15:57 ( 216°)
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If you get the opportunity to observe or image this potential new discovery, please do so! This will be amazing for Anthony and wish him luck!

My heart-felt congratulations to my good friend Anthony. This recognition today is so well deserved after all his hard work over the last few years – he’s found himself in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills to not only capture this image, but to acknowledge that he’s just recorded something special and send it around to the right people.

I don’t think he’s slept at all today but I’m sure he’s living on adrenalin right now. I’m glad to have been able to help him spread the word about his amazing discovery.

Stay tuned for more news and images as it comes to hand.

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