Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jupiter's Wound spied by Hubble

The Hubble Space Telescope, newly repaired and upgraded during shuttle mission STS-125, has begun more of its amazing work. With the discovery of a major impact on Jupiter just a few days ago, astronomers are using the Hubble to view the damage caused by the strike. The left view of Jupiter shows the location of the debris cloud on the visible disk of Jupiter, while the right view is a close-up.

Astronomers will soon be able to estimate the correct size of the impactor and the energy created during the explosion. The Hubble telescope was in the middle of calibration tests for the newly installed equipment. With he urgency of this discovery, astronomers decided to interrupt their schedule and test the new equipment on the Jupiter event. This test proved that the equipment was successfully installed and will provide Hubble with great tools for its important work.

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