Jupiter Slammed by Mystery Object

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2009 3:58 AM CDT
Jupiter Slammed by Mystery Object
This NASA image shows the scar from a large impact on Jupiter's south polar region captured on Monday.   (AP Photo/NASA/JPL)

A massive mysterious object scientists believe may be a comet slammed into Jupiter yesterday, AP reports. The Earth-size impact "scar" left by the object was caught on NASA's powerful infrared telescope in Hawaii. The agency was alerted to the new mark on the planet by an amateur astronomer in England who was searching the planet with his own backyard telescope, according to the Times of London.

“I couldn’t believe it. I thought, ‘That wasn’t there before’ and then I realized Jupiter had actually been hit by something," said Anthony Wesley, 44.. Jupiter was bombarded 15 years ago with by pieces of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. Scientists are still studying images to determine what struck the planet.
(More Jupiter stories.)

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