Jeremy Perez
Image taken:
Jul. 21, 2009
Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
As soon as I heard of Anthony Wesley's amazing discovery, I wanted to see if I could observe the scar visually. Sleep deprivation and heavy clouds prevented me from attempting it before dawn on July 20. But tonight (July 20/21) I was able to spend time with Jupiter in hopes of seeing the feature as it transited a little after midnight local time. By 12:10 AM, the seeing had improved, and Jupiter had rotated enough to make it clear that I was detecting a soft, dark spot near the southern pole. Through our own fluttering atmosphere, I was actually seeing the debris cloud of an immense impact on Jupiter that had happened perhaps as recently as two days ago. Over the next 45 minutes, I sketched the position of the impact scar, and all the other features I could detect. In that time, the spot transited Jupiter and crept along steadily with planet's rapid rotation. Sometimes I've wished that I had taken up observing sooner so that I could have seen Shoemaker-Levy 9 pepper Jupiter with my own eyes. And what do you know, 15 years later, it's been hit again. The sketch was created with graphite pencil on Strathmore Drawing paper. Color and limb darkening were added digitally in Photoshop.
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