Juno spacecraft spots meteor fireball lighting up Jupiter’s skies

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jupiter

A close-up of the planet Jupiter

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

NASA’s Juno probe, which is currently circling Jupiter, has spotted what appears to be the fiery blast of a meteoroid plunging into the planet.

The serendipitous discovery was made by one of the spacecraft’s spectrometers that captures ultraviolet views of the planet. The instrument was observing the ultraviolet glow from aurorae dancing in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere when it detected a powerful burst of light that appeared in the giant world’s night-time skies in April last year.

Actual observations of such explosive events are rare, and only a handful of …

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