Impact flux on Jupiter (Hueso et al.)

Vol. 560
In section 10. Planets and planetary systems

Impact flux on Jupiter: From superbolides to large-scale collisions

by R. Hueso, S. Pérez-Hoyos, A. Sánchez-Lavega, et al. A&A 560, A55


The impacts of small comets on Jupiter with a magnitude similar to that of the Chelyabinsk bolide that recently exploded over Siberia can now be monitored and characterized with amateur observations. Hueso et al. show that three impacts detected on June 3 and August 20, 2010 and on September 10, 2012 can be traced back to objects of 5 to 20 meters in size. They estimate that 12 to 60 such collisions occur every year. The monitoring of these events can help us understand the population of small objects otherwise undetectable at this large distance from the Sun.