Monthly Archives: July 2009

Sharpest Photo of Jupiter’s Earth-Sized Scar Taken by Hubble

Remember how Jupiter just got totally rocked by a huge object, leaving a giant scar? The Hubble team interrupted their testing of the telescope to aim its sights on this very rare sight, and captured the clearest photo yet.

Hubble was at the time being tested and calibrated, but this kind of massive impact only comes around every few decades or so, and the Hubble team scrambled to aim one of their cameras at Jupiter’s new, massive scar. The impact site is about the same as the diameter of Earth, though the object that caused it was likely only about 50-100 miles across. The asteroid, or whatever it was, was travelling at somewhere between 31 and 62 miles per second when it smashed into the gas giant near its south pole. The Hubble’s repairs will actually be delayed due to the need to photograph this event, and won’t be back online until late summer. [CNN]