Hubble Snaps Sharpest Image Yet of Jupiter Impact

By | July 27, 2009

Jupiter’s new scar has been photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope. The huge mark was left when a comet or asteroid plowed into the planet.

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The image above is the sharpest yet of the Pacific Ocean–sized impact site, which was first observed by world’s luckiest amateur astronomer, Anthony Wesley. The new shot was taken by Hubble’s newest toy, the Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed during the most-recent servicing mission to the telescope in May.

The collision is believed to be the largest since Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 busted into 21 pieces and slammed into the solar system’s largest planet 15 years ago.

If whatever hit Jupiter — and astronomers might never know what it was — had instead struck Earth, it would have caused catastrophic damage to human civilization.

via Hubble Snaps Sharpest Image Yet of Jupiter Impact | Wired Science | Wired.com.

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