Jupiter may have just taken a hit for us

// September 11th, 2012 // Astronomy and Space News


Two separate sightings on Monday indicate something big happened on Jupiter.  Two astronomers reported seeing a bright flash on the surface of Jupiter on Monday at 6:35 AM CDT.  One astronomer, George Hall from Dallas, recorded the event which set the astronomer community abuzz.    NBC News reported:

Early this morning, [Hall] brought out his 12-inch Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with the Point Grey Flea3 video camera attached, just to capture imagery for a composite picture of Jupiter. "Jupiter happens to be ideally positioned at about 6 o’clock in the morning," he explained. "It’s right overhead."

That also just happened to be the time when another amateur astronomer from Oregon, Dan Petersen, made a visual observation of the flash. Peterson didn’t capture an image of the flare, which lasted only a couple of seconds, but he did send his sighting report to other astronomers.

Astronomers believe that Jupiter often acts as a shield for planet Earth.  Its huge gravitation pull sweeps in objects that would potentially be catastrophic to Earth.  Some scientists say that without Jupiter, Earth wouldn’t have much of a chance.

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