A couple of days ago Walt told us all about the black spot on the surface of Jupiter. Well, today, we have more info on the topic, this time from The New York Times Blog.
NASA has confirmed the discovery of a new hole the size of the Earth in Jupiterâ€™s atmosphere, apparently showing that the planet was hit by something large in recent days. The impact mark was first spotted on Monday morning by an amateur astronomer in Australia, who then drew the attention of scientists at NASAâ€™s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the dark mark on Jupiterâ€™s south polar region.
NASA even posted some of the pictures on their web site. The Times went on to say:
Glenn Orton, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said â€œIt could be the impact of a comet, but we donâ€™t know for sure yet.â€
Mr. Orton told New Scientist magazine that the planet could have been hit by a block of ice or a comet that was too faint for astronomers to detect before the impact. Leigh Fletcher, an astronomer at the Jet Propulsion Lab told the magazine the impact scar â€œis about the size of the Earth.â€
In Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the amateur astronomer, Anthony Wesley, a 44-year-old computer programmer from a village north of Canberra, made the discovery â€œusing his backyard 14.5-inch reflecting telescope.â€ The Herald explained: â€œWesley, who has been keen on astronomy since he was a child, said telescopes and other astronomy equipment were so inexpensive now that the hobby had become a viable pastime for just about anybody. His own equipment cost about $10,000.â€
Sure weâ€™ve been joking about the resulting cataclysmic disaster here on Cuppa, but itâ€™s all fun and games until a planet-sized comet hits the Earth. Still, the good news is, that if we have even a 30-day warning, then not only will you be able to not worry about paying your bills ever again, but you are going to witness the biggest Bacchus Festival the world has ever seen.