Friday, July 24, 2009

Recent impact site on Jupiter...

has been imaged by the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope (HST) yesterday (click to enlarge.) Although the space telescope is not in service yet, and is still undergoing instrument checkout and calibration, astronomers siezed the moment and used the newly installed Wide Field Camera 3 to take a close look at the rapidly changing dark spot in the Jovian atmosphere.


  1. Hey, I read that the impact site is getting larger over time... Are we looking at the actual surface of Jupiter, or a hole in its atmosphere? Just curious...

  2. The impact site is really a sooty cloud, filled with volatilized bits of the comet/asteroid that exploded in the atmosphere. Turbulent high altitude winds are spreading the debris around the south polar region, causing the "black eye" to change shape. It will likely dissipate in the months ahead.