The National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(http://www.nasa.gov) said an amateur astronomer from Cebu was one of
several enthusiasts able to record objects that burned up in Jupiter's
atmosphere on Aug. 20.
A statement dated September 10 said that Christopher Go of Cebu
"confirmed the flash also appeared in his recordings."
"Professional astronomers, alerted by email, looked for signs of the
impact in images from larger telescopes, including NASA's Hubble Space
Telescope, the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in
Chile, and Gemini Observatory telescopes in Hawaii and Chile."
Go was one of the amateur astronomers using backyard telescopes who
NASA said were the first to detect a small object that burned up in
Jupiter's atmosphere on Aug. 20.
Professional astronomers at NASA and other institutions followed up on
the discovery and gathered detailed information on the objects, which
produced bright spots on Jupiter.
It was the second fireball that amateur astronomers detected. The
first was on June 3.
The June 3 fireball released five to 10 times less energy than the
1908 Tunguska meteoroid, which exploded 4-6 miles above Earth's
surface with a powerful burst that knocked down millions of trees in a
remote part of Russia. The second, on Aug. 20, was first detected by
Japanese amateur astronomer Masayuki Tachikawa.
"It flashed for about 1.5 seconds and left no debris observable by a
large telescope," the statement said.
It added that "scientists continue to analyze the Aug. 20 fireball,
but think it was comparable to the June 3 object."
"It is interesting to note that while Earth gets smacked by a
10-meter-sized object about every 10 years on average, it looks as
though Jupiter gets hit with the same-sized object a few times each
month," the statement quoted, JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office
manager Don Yeomans as saying.
The statement added that "scientists saw no thermal disruptions or
typical chemical signatures of debris, which allowed them to put a
limit on the size of the object."
"Based on the data, the astronomers deduced the flash came from an
object - probably a small comet or asteroid - burning up in Jupiter's
atmosphere. The object likely had a mass of about 1-4 million pounds,
about 100,000 times lighter than another object that hit Jupiter in
Images and videos of the two impacts can be viewed at: