March 17, 2016 collision with Jupiter

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An artist's rendering of Jupiter

An astronomical body collided with Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, on March 17, 2016. The object in question has not been confirmed by NASA to be an asteroid or comet, but may be so.


A video was taken of Jupiter in Mödling on March 17 by an amateur astronomer, Gerrit Kernbauer, with a 20 centimeter telescope. During his filming, a light appeared on the right side of Jupiter as viewed from his lens.[1] Another amateur astronomer, John McKeon, posted a video shot using an 11-inch telescope and an infrared filter of the same event, verifying the clip that Kernbauer had posted.[2]

Manager of the NASA NEO Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory[3] Paul Chodas said that there was a greater possibility of the object being an asteroid rather than a comet.

Previous collisions[edit]

A similar situation occurred with Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in July 1994, when the comet broke apart and collided with Jupiter.[4]


  1. ^ Plait, Phil. "Jupiter Got Whacked by Yet Another Asteroid/Comet!". Slate magazine. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  2. ^ Beatty, Kelly (March 29, 2016). "Another Impact on Jupiter?". Sky & Telescope. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Paul Chodas". Blackbaud. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  4. ^ Millet, Ronald P. (15 July 2013). "Comet's collision with Jupiter: Still detectible 19 years later". Signs of the Times. Retrieved 19 March 2016.