Thursday, January 27, 2011

NASA Infra-red Image: Jupiter's Atmosphere

Particle debris in Jupiter's atmosphere is seen after an object hurtled into the atmosphere on July 19, 2009, in these infrared images obtained from NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility in Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

The image on the left was taken July 20, 2009 and the image on the right was taken August 16, 2009. The impact and its after-effects can be seen as the bright spot on the lower left of the July 20 image and as the bright smudge on the lower left of the August 16 image.

By August 16, the debris had been sheared apart to a larger extent by Jupiter's winds. A hurtling asteroid about the size of the Titanic caused the scar that appeared in Jupiter's atmosphere on July 19, 2009, according to two papers published recently in the journal Icarus.


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