You may have heard of meteor showers before, but the latest one captured by a astronomy enthusiast is probably the best natural phenomenon you will ever witness in your entire lifetime. The once-in-a-lifetime moment has been shot by one Ethan Chappel from Texas during his attempt to search for meteors in the sky. With Jupiter now at its best in the northern sky, Chappel set up his camera at the king of planets and eventually became an eyewitness of the spectacular event which is, indeed, a visual treat.
The sudden and blazing flash of light took Chappel by surprise as a meteor hit the southern hemisphere of Jupiter, known as the 'King of the Solar System' owing to its immense size which is 11 times the diameter of Earth.
However, Chappel did not keep the moment secret and shared it to the entire world through a post on Twitter. "Imaged Jupiter tonight. Looks awfully like an impact flash in the southern equatorial belt (SEB)," he captioned the video captured in the dead of night on August 7.
Within minutes after sharing the spectacular video, it goes viral and has already garnered hundreds of 'retweets' with the comment thread being flooded with some surprising remarks. "Jupiter taking another one for us," one of the comments read.
Imaged Jupiter tonight. Looks awfully like an impact flash in the SEB. Happened on 2019-08-07 at 4:07 UTC. pic.twitter.com/KSis9RZrgP— Chappel Astro (@ChappelAstro) August 7, 2019
Speaking to ScienceAlert, Chappel said, "After I checked the video and saw the flash, my mind started racing! I urgently felt the need to share it with people who would find the results useful.
"I believe I was looking up at the sky for Perseid meteors when it happened, so I did not see the flash while recording," the sky gazer said, adding that he noticed it because of a software called DeTeCt by Marc Delcroix, which is designed specifically for finding these flashes.
In a related note, Jupiter plays an important role in protecting Earth from asteroids and thanks to its strong gravitational pull which helps to keep the space rocks away from our plant. Some experts also believe that the planet draws loose asteroids, comets and meteors in.
In a statement, NASA at its website said, "Astronomers think that if it were not for the giant planet Jupiter exerting its gravitational force on the asteroids in the belt, the inner planets would be constantly bombarded by large asteroid".
"The presence of Jupiter actually protects Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars from repeated asteroid collisions!" the American space agency said. One of Jupiter’s most iconic spectacles is dying, it added.