Highlight: Jupiter's stratospheric hydrocarbons and temperatures [...] (vol. 524)

Vol. 524In section 10. Planets and planetary systems23 November 2010

Jupiter's stratospheric hydrocarbons and temperatures after the July 2009 impact from VLT infrared spectroscopy

by L. N. Fletcher, G. S. Orton, I. de Pater, and O. Mousis, A&A 524, A46 alt

On July 19, 2009, an unidentified object impacted Jupiter. This was the second planetary-scale impact ever observed after the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter in 1994. The scar left on the planet has been observed by Fletcher et al. using VISIR on the VLT before its complete disappearance by August 13, 2009. The analysis of the observations suggests considerable differences between the SL9 impact and that of July 2009, both in terms of the angle of the impact and density of the impactor. The high density that appears to be needed to reproduce the observations points towards an asteroidal origin of the impactor.