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THE IMPACT OF A LARGE OBJECT ON JUPITER IN 2009 JULY

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journal contribution
posted on 21.10.2019, 10:28 by A Sanchez-Lavega, A Wesley, G Orton, R Hueso, S Perez-Hoyos, LN Fletcher, P Yanamandra-Fisher, J Legarreta, I de Pater, H Hammel, A Simon-Miller, JM Gomez-Forrellad, JL Ortiz, E Garcia-Melendo, RC Puetter, P Chodas
On 2009 July 19, we observed a single, large impact on Jupiter at a planetocentric latitude of 55°S. This and the Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) impacts on Jupiter in 1994 are the only planetary-scale impacts ever observed. The 2009 impact had an entry trajectory in the opposite direction and with a lower incidence angle than that of SL9. Comparison of the initial aerosol cloud debris properties, spanning 4800 km east-west and 2500 km north-south, with those produced by the SL9 fragments and dynamical calculations of pre-impact orbit indicates that the impactor was most probably an icy body with a size of 0.5-1 km. The collision rate of events of this magnitude may be five to ten times more frequent than previously thought. The search for unpredicted impacts, such as the current one, could be best performed in 890 nm and K (2.03-2.36 μm) filters in strong gaseous absorption, where the high-altitude aerosols are more reflective than Jupiter's primary clouds.

Funding

This work was supported by the Spanish MEC AYA2006-07735 and MICIIN AYA2009-10701 with FEDER and Grupos Gobierno Vasco IT-464-07. G.O. and P.Y.F. acknowledge support from NASA grants to JPL. L.N.F. was supported by NASA Postdoctoral Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Caltech, USA). J.L.O. acknowledges AYA2008-06202-C03-01.

History

Citation

Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2010, 715 (2), pp. L155-L159 (5)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Astrophysical Journal Letters

Publisher

American Astronomical Society, IOP Publishing

issn

2041-8205

Copyright date

2010

Available date

21/10/2019

Publisher version

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2041-8205/715/2/L155

Language

en