See Jupiter Take One for the Solar System
A flash of light caught on film shows the giant planet getting smacked by an asteroid or comet.
It appears Jupiter is a glutton for punishment.
On March 17 the gas giant planet was pummeled by a speeding space rock, and backyard skywatchers happened to capture the cosmic violence at the moment of impact.
The sighting is the latest in a rash of impacts seen on Jupiter: Amateur astronomers caught similar events in 2009, 2010, and 2012. Before the recent onslaught, it was thought that Jupiter impacts were rare, with the 1994 smashup of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 being a spectacular exception.
But the latest thinking is that Jupiter may be a shield for Earth, sucking in space rocks before they can reach us—or it may act as a slingshot, eating up a few impacts but also sending comets and asteroids