Ethan Chappel was on the lookout for Perseid meteors. hEsaw a brief but discernible flash along the western portion of Jupiter’s Southern Equatorial Belt, or SEB. The flash appeared at at 4:07AM UTC (2:07PM AEST) and lasted no longer than a second and a half. The impact still needs to be confirmed by other astronomers, but it certainly bears the hallmarks of a meteor strike, and not something that might be produced by Jupiter’s lightning flashes or auroras.
The size of the explosion seems small, but it’s important to remember that Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. The meteor had to have been quite big to produce a flash of such prominence, scientists say. Back in 1994, in one of the biggest astronomical events of the century, the comet, co-discovered by astronomers Carolyn and Eugene M. Shoemaker and David Levy in 1993, struck the surface of the planet. Since 1994, astronomers have recorded an additional seven impacts on Jupiter. upiter is pounded by meteors on a regular basis, somewhere between 2000 to 8000 times the rate of impacts experienced on Earth.