Meteor in Jupiter’s atmosphere, observed by Juno UVS

Juno UVS observed a bright flash of light in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere in April 2020.

This emission was short-lived and had very different spectral characteristics to Jupiter’s aurora. The duration and spectrum are consistent with a meteor in Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Giles et al. (2021), Geophysical Research Letters, 48(5), doi:10.1029/2020GL091797

From the brightness of the flash, we estimate that the mass of the impactor was 250-5000 kg.

Jovian meteors have previously been observed by the Voyager and Galileo spacecrafts and by amateur observers on Earth. Each new observation helps to constrain the overall impact rate, an important element to understanding the planet’s composition.

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