This sprawling dark marking is Jupiter's latest impact scar,
a debris plume created as a small asteroid or comet disintegrated
after plunging into
the gas giant's
Located in Jupiter's south polar region, the
new feature was discovered
by Australian amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley on July 19.
On July 23rd Wesley's discovery was followed up by the Hubble Space
Telescope with its newly installed Wide Field Camera 3, creating
this sharpest view of the evolving debris plume.
Estimates indicate that the impacting object itself was several hundred
Similar impact markings were created when
pieces of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed
into Jupiter's cloud bands in July of 1994.
H. Hammel (Space Science Institute, Boulder, Co.),
and the Jupiter Impact Team