Astronomical “Jackpot”: Amateur astronomer noticed an explosion on Jupiter

Amateur astrophotographer Tadao Ohsugi, who specializes in fixing astronomical phenomena, witnessed a rare event in the sky – a huge explosion on Jupiter. This event was one of the brightest in the history of observations of this gas giant.

Tadao Ohsugi carried out photographic observations using an astronomical telescope installed in his home room specifically for this purpose. During one of his observations, he suddenly noticed a flare of light on the surface of Jupiter. According to him, this flare was very bright and was probably the result of a collision of the planet with a meteorite or other space object. He noted that this event was a real “jackpot” for him.

Professor Ko Arimatsu, an astronomer from Kyoto University in Japan, explains that even the most modern telescopes cannot always directly observe space objects that lead to such explosions. Jupiter is known for the fact that its gravity is able to attract these objects, and they often end up crashing into the planet. This makes Jupiter a unique and invaluable object for scientific research of such phenomena. Also, the giant planet is called the “defender” of the planets of the inner Solar system, because it takes most of the dangerous objects on itself. 

A fireball seen on Jupiter was captured by amateur astronomer Tadao Ohsugi

Such rare flares on Jupiter are an important source of information for understanding the history of our Solar System. These phenomena give scientists a unique opportunity to study the turbulent processes that took place at the initial stages of the development of the Solar System. We can say that these are extremely valuable “windows into the past”.

Ohsugi used high-speed filming to record the dynamics of the event, which allowed scientists to analyze this phenomenon in detail and extract valuable information from it for research. However, unfortunately, the explosion recorded by Ohsugi was not powerful enough to form visible effects in its atmosphere, as happened in 1994 when Jupiter was attacked by the destroyed comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. 

The consequences of the fall of the fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 on Jupiter. Source: Hubble Space Telescope Comet Team and NASA

Dr. Fletcher emphasizes that such cases show that all the giant planets of our Solar System, including Jupiter, are bombarded by asteroids and comets. However, there is still very little information about comets that can affect these planets. Therefore, amateur astronomers like Tadao Ohsugi play an important role in fixing such random phenomena and enriching our understanding of cosmic processes.

The professor encourages other amateur astronomers to join the observations of Jupiter, emphasizing that this requires an extraordinary dedication in helping to study the celestial mysteries.

Earlier we reported on how Jupiter came as close to Earth as possible for the first time in 70 years.

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