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An Astronomer Has Spotted A 'Strange Light' Near Jupiter

'I found this strange light spot that appeared for less than one second.'

30/03/2016 08:53

An astronomer has spotted a "strange light" near Jupiter while filming a time-lapse of the planets.

Experts have suggested it could be an asteroid or a comet.

John McKeon, an amateur astronomer, saw a "strange light...on the edge of the planetary disc" while he was filming in Ireland.

"The original purpose of the imaging session was to get this time-lapse, with a happy coincidence of the impact in the second, last capture of the night," he said in a description underneath his YouTube video.

"The seeing was not the best, so I hesitated to process the videos."

He added: "Nevertheless, 10 days later I looked through the videos and I found this strange light spot that appeared for less than one second on the edge of the planetary disc."

NASA asteroid expert Paul Chodas told Space.com "It's more likely to be an asteroid simply because there are more of them."

This is not the first time an asteroid has bumped into Jupiter.

"From our point of view this simply serves to remind us that impacts in the solar system are real and Jupiter gets more than its fair share of impacts," said Chodas told Space.com.

"It draws in a lot of asteroids and comets. We are seeing these impact flashes on Jupiter about once a year now, and that’s I believe because of instrumentation." 

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