Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Australia played a small role, as the landing zone, in one of the most remarkable episodes of space exploration - the capturing of small pieces of a comet by a Japanese space probe, now successfully returned to Earth for study.

More On Hayabusa Here

In more local Space-related news, Australian astronomer Anthony Wesley snapped this incredible shot of an unidentified impact on the surface of Jupiter :

On June 3rd, 2010, something hit Jupiter. A comet or asteroid descended from the black of space, struck the planet's cloudtops, and disintegrated, producing a flash of light so bright it was visible in backyard telescopes on Earth. Soon, observers around the world were training their optics on the impact site, waiting to monitor the cindery cloud of debris which always seems to accompany a strike of this kind.

"It's as if Jupiter just swallowed the thing whole," says Anthony Wesley of Australia, one of two amateur astronomers who recorded the initial flash.

More Here