dark impact mark on jupiter
Posted 20 July 2009 - 02:15 PM
it should be visually visible as well in moderate/small scopes. i'm not gonna get a chance to see it due to persistent unstable weather over here, and the spot being visible during the late morning hours when the sun will be already pretty high up
it would be cool if one of us could grab the chance and give a report on how it looks thru the scope, and perhaps add a sketch. the last time such an event happened was in 1994.
Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:26 PM
Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:33 PM
Posted 20 July 2009 - 08:11 PM
Thank you for informing everyone on the new South Polar Region (SPR) dark spot which appears to have resulted from an impact (most probably a comet or comet fragment similar to S-L 9 in 1994). Anthony Wesley is a talented planetary imager from Australia who recorded the feature on July 19, 2009 (15:55 U.T.) on the central meridian (System II 210 degrees West) using his 14.5" Newtonian reflector. I hope that other observers are able to follow this dark impact site in the future. Below are links to predicted transit timings of the SPR impact site;
Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:00 PM
Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:04 AM
Thanks for the heads up on this amazing phenomena! I'm going out tonight to see if I can get some sketches or images of this!
Posted 21 July 2009 - 05:43 AM
What a privilege to be able to see something like this with your own eyes. I used my 8 inch Dob and shortly after midnight local time (about 07:10 UT) I was able to identify the scar deep in the south polar region. I don't often tread into planetary sketching, so this took a lot of concentration. The sketch took about 45 minutes from 07:20 UT to 08:05 UT. I created the field sketch on plain white paper on a pre-printed form. The blending was horrible though, so I traced all the contours onto a new sheet of Strathmore Drawing paper and re-created it with graphite pencil (2H and HB). Color and limb darkening were added in Photoshop.
I think the Shoemaker-Levy 9 scars lasted a few weeks before they smeared out. So there should be some more time to clear any weather or scheduling hurtles to see this thing for yourself. Be sure to check it out as soon as you can! Wow!
Full report & larger sketch can be found here:
Jupiter with Impact Scar - JUL 21, 2009 07:20 UT
Posted 21 July 2009 - 06:44 AM
An excellent observation of Jupiter showing the new impact site over the South Polar Region (SPR). It is amazing to witness this event (or the aftermath) especially after the S-L 9 event of 1994. Thank you for sharing it with us all.
Posted 21 July 2009 - 08:19 AM
i know it's probably very difficult to compare your own views with pictures, but do you think the mark has already waned much? also is it easily recognized or rather more difficult to spot? i sure hope it will last for at least a week or so
i check the weather forecast at meteoblue.com often, and on every window i have i'm completely clouded out so far untill the weekend (i'll probably set my watch anyway tomorrow morning, without expectations, but you never know)
i'm happy some of us get to see it at least!
Posted 21 July 2009 - 08:28 AM
Posted 21 July 2009 - 08:59 AM
Thank you for the heads up Kris and Jeremy yours is the first sketch I have seen of the event. Wonderful sketch and written report. I hope to get a look soon but no luck so far.
Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:25 PM
Posted 21 July 2009 - 01:28 PM
Posted 21 July 2009 - 06:50 PM
Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:59 AM
Posted 22 July 2009 - 01:02 AM
Kris, I hope the weather gives you a chance to see it. I'm not sure at what rate it is dissipating. Checking in on the latest images and comparing them should be helpful. With my seeing conditions, it wasn't a striking feature, but it was consistent. The 120X view provided better contrast, but the 240X view was better for working out position and size of the structure as well as the other cloud features. I did not detect elongation as others did. Hopefully I'll get another look at it as it gradually shears away.
Posted 23 July 2009 - 07:04 AM
The impact feature is still hanging on and was readily visible through my 8 inch Dob. The best part was seeing it along with a beautiful shadow transit with Callisto hanging just outside Jupiter's following limb. It also provided a nice contrast for comparison of the two spots. Callisto's shadow was strikingly black, while the impact scar appeared more as a soft feature that seemed to take on the brownish color of the surrounding clouds. I spent more time getting a feel for the impact site itself, and did detect a horizontal elongation and slightly condensed appearance.
I had a couple moments of incredibly good seeing that showed up a lighter patch north of the impact scar and corresponded well to the position of a white spot in the area. I did not detect this white spot as a hard oval, just as a subtle brightening in the area. Midway through my observation, high clouds moved in and foiled my attempts to finish up detail on the preceding edge before it rotated out of view, so the equatorial belts are a little plain in that part of the sketch. I finished the observation just as Callisto was dipping into Jupiter's profile.
The sketch was created on Strathmore Drawing paper with graphite pencils (2H and HB). Mostly just pencil shading, with a little bit of blending stump thrown in to soften some scratch marks. I used Photoshop to add the black background, limb darkening and brownish color.
Larger sketch can be found here:
Jupiter, Callisto, Impact Scar and Shadow Transit
Posted 23 July 2009 - 08:03 AM
Carlos- I love the drawing you made from just above the clouds of Jupiter and the impact point. Very realistic.
Jeremy- Your drawings are beautiful and much appreciated. If I'm going to see this I'll need some better cooperation from the local weather.
Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:08 AM
Carlos--thanks for putting us in orbit around the King!
Rich--let us know where you post your images.
Kris and Frank--good luck on your local weather. I've had the scope ready to go, but we've had clouds and t-storms day and night here all week.
Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:09 AM
Another excellent observation of Jupiter showing the Wesley comet impact scar. The impact site appears to be enlarging (most probably due to shearing forces of the jovian atmosphere). It is interesting to follow the development of this cometary impact site over the South Polar Region of Jupiter. I hope that we can all observe it as well over the next few weeks. Thank you for sharing it with us all.
Posted 23 July 2009 - 10:42 AM
Great sketch! [And your earlier one in Spaceweather yesterday too!]
I was compelled to sketch Jupiter last night but could only see it for fleeting seconds through clouds. I forgot which polar region the impact scare was at, It is new to me so I thought I read the south polar region. However I easily noticed the obvious moon transit shadow just to the right of the GRS through my 10.1 inch Dobsonian; that compelled me to sketch at least that but then the clouds took over too soon.
I am confused now. I keep reading the impact scare as in the south polar region [as reported in yesterdays NY Times; you'd think I as an astronomer would get my info from an astronomy site and not the NY Times :question: but I do have the transit times for it from the Australian Ice in Space forums], but then I see it here in your sketch in what I thought was inverted as it would be seen in a Dob, yet you are showing it at bottom as proper south orientation. ( I did easily see the SL-9 in 1994 and showed it to all my neighbors.)
Thanks again for any info Jeremy,
Posted 23 July 2009 - 11:06 AM
Weather is really making this difficult for a lot of folks. I hope you all do catch a break from it at some point very soon.
Posted 23 July 2009 - 12:36 PM
we might have a break in the clouds this weekend