Harald Paleske in Langendorf, Germany, captured this image of a bright flash of light as something impacted Jupiter on September 13, 2021. Io and its shadow are on the left side of Jupiter, while the flash is to the right of center. Image via Spaceweather.com.
Photographers capture an impact on Jupiter
Observers around the globe were surprised on September 13, 2021, when they witnessed an apparent impact on the giant planet Jupiter. A bright flash of light distracted them from their observing target: an ongoing transit of the shadow of the jovian moon Io across the face of Jupiter. A couple of lucky astrophotographers managed to snap images of the flash.
The image at top comes from Germany. Harald Paleske told SpaceWeather.com he was watching the dark shadow of Io cross onto Jupiter’s surface when the burst of light startled him. He said:
A bright flash of light surprised me. It could only be an impact.
Paleske had been taking a video of the transit of Io’s shadow when the event occurred. He looked over his video frames, searching for a satellite or plane that might have shown up as the bright patch. But he found no evidence that the ...