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Emily LakdawallaJune 4, 2010

The June 3 Jupiter Impact: 22 hours later

Time to take stock of what happened a day ago. The worldwide, round-the-clock nature of planetary science is both exhilarating and challenging! As a part-time blogger and full-time mom I'm only supposed to be at my computer four hours a day, but last night my poor kids had to put up with a mommy feeding and caring for them with one hand while I wore out the Refresh button on my Netbook with the other, searching for updates on both IKAROS' sail deployment and the latest on yesterday's impact flash on Jupiter. Now that it's back to regular business hours I'm hereby putting together a (hopefully) more coherent account of what has happened, and where I'll be watching for more information.

So, what happened? Here's a rundown of events. (Links to sources are at the end of this article.)

Here are Wesley's and Go's processed, lovely RGB images of the impact flash, along with links to their videos. It is common now for amateur astronomers to record digital video at high frame rates when they observe; Wesley's frame rate was 60 frames per second. That allows them to pick the best images out of hundreds during split-second moments when Earth's atmosphere stills, permitting a sharper view of the target.

Jupiter on June 3, 2010: Impact flash!

Anthony Wesley

Jupiter on June 3, 2010: Impact flash!
Australian amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley was observing Jupiter at 20:31 UTC on June 3, 2010 when he fortuitously caught the flash of some object hitting the planet.

I will of course be watching for any further developments on the search for a scar. I'll post any updates here; I'll wait to accumulate information before I write a new blog post.

Sources for the above roundup:

Read more: citizen science, pretty pictures, amateur astrophotos, amateur astronomers, animation, Jupiter

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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