An explosion occurred on the surface of Jupiter early Monday morning, and amateur astronomers captured footage and photos of the burst via telescope. The fireball is believed to be caused by the impact of an asteroid or comet.
Dan Peterson of Racine, Wisconsin, was the first to report the explosion, posting his observation on an online astronomy forum.
"It was a bright flash that lasted only 1.5 to 2 seconds," Peterson told Spaceweather.com.
Another Cloudy Nights user, George Hall of Dallas, Texas, came across the post and reviewed his earlier morning footage of Jupiter. He discovered he had indeed captured the surface explosion, which occurred at 6:35 a.m. CDT, and posted the video to Flickr.
Other amateur astronomers from around the world, who also happened to have their camera equipment at the ready, chimed in, uploading photos of the impact site following the explosion. (Click over to Spaceweather.com to see the photos.)
According to Space.com, Monday's impact is the "fourth report of objects striking Jupiter since July 2009."
"Although we don't yet know the size or exact nature of the impactor, based on the flash brightness we expect it is slightly bigger and energetic than the one seen in 2010, which was estimated to be on the order of 10 meters [33 feet] in size," Amy Simon Miller, chief of the planetary systems laboratory at Goddard Spaceflight Center in Maryland, told National Geographic.
Watch the explosion on Jupiter in the video above.
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