Hubble Snaps Photos of Jupiter Impact
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2009 10:24 AM CDT
This image provided by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope taken with its Wide Field Camera 3 yesterday shows the sharpest visible-light picture taken of the impact.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – NASA pulled the recently upgraded Hubble space telescope out of testing yesterday to take a photo of the Earth-sized impact scar on Jupiter, CNN reports. “Because we believe this magnitude of impact is rare, we are very fortunate to see it with Hubble,” a NASA scientist says. “Details seen in the Hubble view shows a lumpiness to the debris plume caused by turbulence in Jupiter's atmosphere.”

The amateur astronomer who discovered the scar says that though it is roughly the same diameter as Earth, the object that caused it was probably just 50 to 100 miles wide. But it was moving at a clip, he says: 31 to 62 miles per second. The repurposing of the Hubble will delay its return to full functionality, but NASA figured it was worth it to take a look at the rare astronomical event.