is it similar to the ones from yesteryear?
Could Jupiter have just been hit by a sizable comet?
The dark spot, near the top of the image, is similar to the spots seen on Jupiter in 1994 after it was hit by comet Shoemaker-Levy/9.
So, the conjecture is, that this spot may also be due to an impact, by a comet or asteroid which snuck up on Jupiter without us observing it before impact.
Guess it is better to follow that spot…
Somebody ought to get some near-IR imaging on it. pronto, just in case it is hot and fading, which would be evidence of impact.
It is actually quite important this be followed up, it could just be transient atmospherics, which could even be somewhat interesting in and of itself, but it’d be significant if it turns out to be impact: proof of impact could be infra-red imaging showing the spot is hot and fading on an interesting time scale; or, pre-impact images showing a planetesimal on an impact trajectory, thought that’d require some serious luck.
See Mike Salway’s site for possible future times that the spot might be observable – ~7 am tuesday (UT) is likely next best bet for anyone who didn’t catch it tonight, so southwest US would be a good place to observe from.
Hm, if we see S-L/9 impact in ’94 and another one now, we have an interesting estimate of such impact rates, and if the back of my envelope is correct, the equivalent Earth impact rate would be of order one per 10,000-100,000 years, which would be interestingly large.
In the not-so-nice, worryingly annoying sense of the word “interesting”.