Asteroid slams into giant gas planet Jupiter

An astronomer last month captured a flash in Jupiter's atmosphere which was nearly Earth’s size compared to the giant gas planet’s size. Astronauts now have come to the conclusion that the flash was caused by a small asteroid. The 1.5-second flash on August 7 was captured by Ethan Chappel using a telescope. Jupiter Moon has the same brightness as that of the flash during peak.

“Ramanakumar Sankar and Csaba Palotai of the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) analysed the data to estimate that the flash could have been caused by an impact from a stony-iron asteroid between 39 and 52 feet (12 and 16 meters) in diameter,” according to a CNET report.

Ricardo Hueso, a physicist said that the impact appears to be the second brightest of the six captured since 2010.

"Most of these objects hit Jupiter without being spotted by observers on Earth," Hueso said. "However, we now estimate 20 to 60 similar objects impact with Jupiter each year." 

It is also known to the scientist that 800,000 years ago, a one-kilometre long asteroid crashed into Earth’s Southeast Asia region.

However, it is still a matter of study how the humans at that time survived such huge impact. It may be because humans are much smarter than dinosaurs gave them a edge when it comes to surviving asteroid attack. In 2016, a NASA scientist warned that the Earth is unprepared for such an event. In April 2018, the B612 Foundation reported "It's 100 per cent certain we'll be hit [by a devastating asteroid], but we're not 100 per cent sure when." Also, in 2018, physicist Stephen Hawking, in his final book Brief Answers to the Big Questions, considered an asteroid collision to be the biggest threat to the planet. 

Asteroid impact avoidance comprises a number of methods by which near-Earth objects (NEO) could be diverted, preventing destructive impact events. A sufficiently large impact by an asteroid or other NEOs would cause, depending on its impact location, massive tsunamis, multiple firestorms and an impact winter caused by the sunlight-blocking effect of placing large quantities of pulverized rock dust, and other debris, into the stratosphere.

According to expert testimony in the United States Congress in 2013, NASA would require at least five years of preparation before a mission to intercept an asteroid could be launched.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft shares new image of lunar eclipse on Jupiter

NASA’s Juno mission recently went around Jupiter and released a set of raw images of the giant gaseous planet and its moon Io which cast an eclipse on it. The images showed a small but perfect dark shadow over Jupiter. The black spot looked so prominent that one might mistake it to be some sort of a massive hole.

The Juno mission made its close flyby sometime last week around September 11. This was Juno’s 22nd close flyby of the giant planet. During this period, the positioning of Io was perfect as it slipped in between the Sun and Jupiter during the process of its orbit.

The image was shared on Twitter by Kevin Gill, a software engineer and data scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

According to a report by, Jupiter’s Io moon takes 1.77 days to orbit the giant planet. Due to the presence of massive gravity in Jupiter, a lot of heat is generated on the moon, making it the most volcanic in the solar system. Among the four giant moons of Jupiter, Io orbits the closest to the giant planet, this allows it to cast a prominent dark shadow over Jupiter.

NASA’s Juno mission has been orbiting Jupiter for over three years and makes a close flyby every 53 days. It is designed to study the atmosphere and the interior of the giant planet.

Juno also has a camera which clicks raw images that are uploaded online and then the image processors of the space agency turn them into beautiful and informative photographs.

Incredible image of Jupiter's 'solar eclipse': NASA scientist reveals the eerie shadow cast on the planet's swirling surface as its moon Io passes in front of the sun

An incredible image shows the eerie black shadow cast on the swirling surface of Jupiter by its moon Io as the latter passes between the gas giant and the sun.

The processed image of Io's silhouette on the giant planet's surface was posted onto twitter by NASA software engineer Kevin Gill.

The image reveals what a solar eclipse on the gas giant might look like, if viewed from orbit around Jupiter.

The shadow cast by Io on Jupiter is much more sharply-defined that that left by the moon on the Earth during a solar eclipse.

The reason for this, experts say, is to do with the distance between Jupiter and the sun.

'The sun is significantly smaller as seen from Jupiter — hence shadows are much sharper,' wrote Mars photographer Doug Ellison on Twitter.

'Io is so big [and] close that it more than blocks the Sun (it appears 4x as big as the Sun from Jupiter’s perspective),' added astrophysicist Katie Mack of the North Carolina State University. 

'It’s so close that the penumbra [...] is super thin.' 

A penumbra is the blurry edge that can form around the edge of some shadows. 

Juno's mission is to study the composition of Jupiter, along with assessing it's polar magnetosphere, gravity field and magnetic field.

NASA plans for Juno to continue studying Jupiter from orbit until July 2021, at which point it will be guided into the gas giant's atmosphere to disintegrate.

The original images were captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft, which has been orbiting the gas giant since July 5, 2016. 

They were released last week and Mr Gill, who has a reputation for releasing stunning images of the cosmos, sharpened it up. 

Jupiter, with its vast swirls and complex gaseous movements, is a prominent feature in his work.  

Last year, he released a colour enhanced version of an image taken several months prior and showed gigantic storms raging across the southern hemisphere of the planet.  

At the time, Juno was about 44,300 miles (71,400 kilometers) from the planet's cloud tops, above a southern latitude of 71 degrees. 

'This image captures swirling cloud belts and tumultuous vortices within Jupiter’s northern hemisphere,' NASA said.

At the time, Juno was about 9,600 miles (15,500 kilometers) from the planet's cloud tops, above a northern latitude of 56 degrees.


The Juno probe reached Jupiter in 2016 after a five-year, 1.8 billion-mile journey from Earth. 

The Juno probe reached Jupiter on July 4, 2016, after a five-year, 1.8 billion-mile (2.8bn km) journey from Earth.

Following a successful braking manoeuvre, it entered into a long polar orbit flying to within 3,100 miles (5,000 km) of the planet's swirling cloud tops.

The probe skimmed to within just 2,600 miles (4,200 km) of the planet's clouds once a fortnight - too close to provide global coverage in a single image.

No previous spacecraft has orbited so close to Jupiter, although two others have been sent plunging to their destruction through its atmosphere.

To complete its risky mission Juno survived a circuit-frying radiation storm generated by Jupiter's powerful magnetic field.

The maelstrom of high energy particles travelling at nearly the speed of light is the harshest radiation environment in the Solar System.

To cope with the conditions, the spacecraft was protected with special radiation-hardened wiring and sensor shielding.

Its all-important 'brain' - the spacecraft's flight computer - was housed in an armoured vault made of titanium and weighing almost 400 pounds (172kg).

The craft is expected to study the composition of the planet's atmosphere until 2021. 


with the light coming from the sun to a surface. 

This includes on Earth, when the moon positions directly between the Earth and the sun. 

But it can also happen elsewhere in the solar system, including on all the different planets.  

The Biggest Volcano on Jupiter’s Molten Moon Io Is Likely to Erupt at Any Moment

Observational data collected over the years suggests the largest volcano on Jupiter’s moon Io—the most geologically active object in the Solar System—will erupt in mid-September, which is pretty much any moment now.

When it comes to eruptions, volcanoes tend to operate on their own unpredictable schedules. Such is not the case for Loki, however, the largest volcano on Io. When this thing blows, which it tends to do on the regular, it accounts for 15 percent of the moon’s total heat expenditure. So powerful is this 200-kilometer-wide (124-mile) volcano that astronomers can observe its tantrums using ground-based telescopes, making it the most thoroughly studied volcano not on Earth.

For the past 20 years, astronomer Julie Rathbun from the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona has watched in astonishment as this volcano erupts with eerie regularity. Her latest calculations suggest Loki will erupt in mid-September, as she told an audience today at the EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland, according to a press release put out by the Europlanet Society. Prior to this, Rathbun correctly predicted that Loki would erupt in May 2018.

Loki, which Rathbun suspects is a large overturning lava lake (and sadly not an overturning lava cake), is predictable owing to its tremendous girth.

“Because of its size, basic physics are likely to dominate when it erupts, so the small complications that affect smaller volcanoes are likely to not affect Loki as much,” Rathbun was quoted as saying in the Europlanet Society release.

In a short paper put together for the EPSC-DPS meeting, Rathbun said Loki “is a lava lake with a crust that solidifies as it cools,” and the “amount of time between eruptions is the amount of time necessary for the crust to become gravitationally unstable and is, therefore, related to the porosity of the lava.”

But because Loki has a prior history of changing its schedule on a dime, Rathbun warned that her latest prediction is not ironclad.

“Volcanoes are so difficult to predict because they are so complicated,” she said. “Many things influence volcanic eruptions, including the rate of magma supply, the composition of the magma—particularly the presence of bubbles in the magma, the type of rock the volcano sits in, the fracture state of the rock, and many other issues.”

So, a super neat prediction for a super cool moon. Hopefully we’ll have something to report on in the coming days.

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