|Two months ago, something unexpected hit Jupiter.
First discovered by an amateur astronomer
Anthony Wesley on 2009 July 19,
the impact was quickly confirmed and even
imaged by the
Hubble Space Telescope the very next day.
Many of the
then zoomed in on our Solar System's
largest planet to see the result.
Some of these images have been complied into the
Over the course of the last month and a half, the
above time-lapse sequence shows the dark spot -- first created when
Jupiter was struck -- deforming and dissipating as
Jupiter's clouds churned and
It is now thought that a small comet -- perhaps less than one kilometer across --
impacted Jupiter on or before 2009 July 19.
Although initially expected to be
visible for only a week, astronomers continue to track atmospheric remnants of the impact for new information about winds and currents in
Jupiter's thick atmosphere.