Shocking Footage Of Unidentified Object Crashing Into Jupiter

By Douglas Helm | Updated

jupiter feature

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and thus has quite an impressive gravitational pull. Naturally, that means that there are going to be some objects that slam into it, though it’s not every day that someone is able to record an impact on the gas giant. However, sometimes we get lucky, like this week when an amateur astronomer recorded an impact on the planet and posted a video of it.

Late in August, Jupiter was struck by an unknown object, which isn’t uncommon, but it’s one of the few times we have footage of the impact.

As you can see in the Tweet from MASA Planetary Log, the object hits Jupiter and causes a bright flash of light. The impact was recorded on August 28 at 12:45 p.m. ET and was later confirmed by other astronomers who saw the flash of light hit the planet. According to Gizmodo, chances are good that the object is either a small comet or an asteroid.

Of course, there are plenty of times that stuff smashes into Jupiter, as its massive size and gravitational pull, along with its proximity to an asteroid belt, mean it’s especially prone to getting whacked every now and then. But, as mentioned, it’s not often we get a recording of this happening, as the last recorded impact was back in 2021 when a similarly-sized object smashed into the planet. However, our solar system’s biggest planet has tanked much bigger hits than this in the past.

Jupiter’s gravitational pull makes it a magnet for wayward comets and asteroids, which protects Earth from potentially extinction-level impacts.

One of the biggest impacts Jupiter was ever hit with (at least that we know about) was in 1994 when pieces of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet broke off and collided with the planet. According to NASA, this impact would have hit the planet with roughly the force of 300 million atomic bombs. Unlike Earth, the solar system’s biggest gas giant can take these hits in stride.


In fact, we probably have Jupiter to thank for keeping our planet a little bit safer, as its massive gravitational pull helps to prevent these objects from reaching the inner planets. The planet will usually either take the hit, or its gravity will fling the object out from the path of the inner planets. It’s basically like a massive bodyguard that is made mostly of gas, which is pretty nice to have.

One of the biggest impacts Jupiter was ever hit with (at least that we know about) was in 1994 when pieces of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet broke off and collided with the planet.

Despite being further away from Earth than Mars, Jupiter’s massive size makes it the third brightest natural object in Earth’s sky after the Moon and Venus. That means that people on Earth have been able to see it in the sky since ancient times, and it makes it pretty easy for amateur astronomers to observe, which is why we were able to get this cool footage of the objects impacting the planet. Interestingly, it was also the first planet to form in our solar system, which makes the protector role that it sometimes plays even more fitting.

It’s definitely hard to imagine from the video posted, but that object that hit Jupiter is undoubtedly pretty massive. It’s definitely cool to see videos like that in action and imagine how it might look closer up. Maybe we won’t have to wait a couple of years before someone captures another one.