Gas Giant Smackdown!

by wjw on July 21, 2009

A rogue object has collided with Jupiter!

Wasn’t this how Greg Bear’s Forge of God started? Should we start saying goodbye to our loved ones now?

Ken Houghton July 21, 2009 at 2:10 pm

"We were extremely lucky to be seeing Jupiter at exactly the right time, the right hour, the right side of Jupiter to witness the event," said Glenn Orton, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., in a statement. "We couldn't have planned it better."

When Someone wants you to see something, they time it that way. This is simply G-d (or the Advanced Alien Race that has been Watching) saying, "Hey, it's been forty years since the Moon landing and you've done squat since. Time to start over."

Ralf the Dog July 21, 2009 at 6:46 pm

We only see the things we can see. This could happen every Tuesday on Jupiter on the wrong side of the planet when we don't have a probe looking.

Dave Bishop July 21, 2009 at 6:46 pm

I'm just glad that it wasn't 'Third Rocky Planet from the Sun Smackdown'!

Isn't this what Jupiter is supposed to be 'for' – hoovering up the chunkier bits before they can reach us?

Dave Bishop July 23, 2009 at 11:14 am

One thing that occurred to me, as I was drifting off to sleep last night, was that there appeared to be only one impact site. I seem to recall that the Shoemaker-Levy comet, that hit Jupiter in the 1990s, was first ripped apart by the planet's gravitational field, resulting in several impact sites.
So whatever it was, it probably had greater tensile strength than a comet (i.e. than a 'dirty snowball').

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