Web edition: June 7, 2010
If the object that crashed into Jupiter on June 3 left behind a bruise, it’s a tiny one. No ground-based telescope has found evidence of a scar. But an image taken June 6 with the sharp eye of the Hubble Space Telescope may provide the final say.
Researchers haven’t yet had a chance to get their hands on the Hubble data, says planetary scientist Heidi Hammel of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. “Until we get that back, it will not be clear whether we have an impact that left a [scar], or a meteor which did not.”
With observations planned months in advance, “Hubble taking a look at anything on short notice is not a trivial matter,” Hammel notes. “A lot of people worked overtime this past weekend with virtually no warning in order to enable a Hubble look.” In scheduling the snapshot, researchers had to contend, among other factors, with interference from Earth’s moon.
Stay tuned, Hammel says, to find out what Hubble saw—or didn’t see.
Cowen, R. 2010. Jupiter takes yet another hit. Science News Web Edition, June 4. [Go to]
Cowen, R. 2010. Jupiter's crash of '09. Science News (June 2). [Go to]