Friday, September 14, 2012

Jupiter Impact: A Postscript




I’ve got a couple of interesting things for today, but they’re just little things, mostly links to other blogs. But I wanted to post these because these are a follow-up to my post from Tuesday about the new impact on Jupiter, Astrophysics Versus Steam-Punk Musicians.

This is all very incredible to me. I mean, there was at time, not really too long ago, when people interested in news about science only got the “latest” data because travelers moving from one country to another would bring letters or pass along stories at dinner parties. Then international mail become more reliable and then international phone service became available.

Now the internet is simply something like magic.

On Monday an asteroid or comet—a meteor, most likely we know now—impacted Jupiter’s atmosphere. Today is Friday and a great deal of information is readily available on the internet about the apparent nature of the impact.

It’s amazing and wonderful and something like magic.

*

But first a note about something completely different.

I have not completed a new little stop-motion film I’ve been meaning to get to for two weeks now.

So I am officially a little behind.

But stop-motion was in the news yesterday and today. And, oh boy, I am not the only person a little behind but some people are even worse about budgeting their finances than I am.

Disney Loses $50M On Cancelled Stop-Motion Film

Disney announced yesterday that they were writing off $50,000,000 because they stopped production on a new Henry Selick stop-motion movie. Fifty million dollars!

As I type this, Little Plastic Doll and Rubber Lizard are on the bookcase behind me giving me the meanest looks you could imagine. Little Plastic Doll grumbles that she’s worked for me for almost three years and she’s only gotten one new dress out of the deal. And Disney invests fifty million dollars in a stop-motion film, and then stops production and just writes off the money. Fifty million dollars down the drain.

When I did my little stop-motion film The Librarian and the Painter, my stop-motion software screwed up and scrambled the final audio track. I had to go back and use a low-quality backup of the audio. I was so upset. I was freaking out. I wanted to throw my computer out the window. But I didn’t stop production! And that’s why that movie doesn’t sound very good. But I didn’t abandon production! I pushed it through to release!

Disney just writes off fifty million dollars. What a world!

*

Okay. Back to the impact on Jupiter.

On Monday, amateur astronomers observed a bright flash in Jupiter’s atmosphere. One amateur observed it visually and another amateur had gotten video of the event.

By the next day [!] an astronomer had put together a high-resolution image from the best of the video frames:


And also another astronomer had worked all night to estimate the size of the impact object from the brightness, concluding that probably the object was too small to have disturbed the cloud base and leave a visible “scar” for observers to catch.

This was all summarized online at a blog by Franck Marchis, Flash on Jupiter – most likely a meteor.

An amateur astronomer named Wayne Jaeschke was getting visible and infrared images that confirmed there was no immediately visible debris field or other “scar” visible:


And when a professional astronomer named Glenn Orton used a large aperture near-infrared telescope to peer into the clouds themselves, also confirming that no large impact “scar” was visible, that image also was posted to the internet at the Franck Marchis Cosmic Diary blog:


What a world we live in. A meteor impacts Jupiter’s atmosphere and within days everyone on Earth has access to the latest data and conclusions about the event.

What a world!

What a universe!





















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