CONFIRMED! JUPITER WAS SHOT WITH AN ASTEROID
On July 19, 2009, 15 years (to the day) after the famous comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 peppered Jupiter with huge chunks of ice, the gas giant was hit once again by a cosmic bullet.
Australian amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley was the first to notice a scar in the planet’s atmosphere after the fact, leading us to believe that Jupiter had been hit by another comet.
However, in this cosmic game of whodunit, jumping to the conclusion that “another” comet was to blame for the 2009 impact turns out to have been a red herring. Just because we know a comet slammed into the planet in 1994, it doesn’t necessarily mean the 2009 event used the same weapon.
After some detective work, two papers recently published in the journal Icarus have concluded that Jupiter was actually shot by an asteroid, not a comet.