On September 10, amateur astronomer George Hall caught an impactor – likely a gravitationally captured asteroid or comet – vaporizing in Jupiter’s atmosphere. It is likely the impactor was quite large to produce such a visible result, but the numbers aren’t in yet. The after effects will also be telling. The largest impactors, such at the 1994 comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, leave black marks on Jupiter’s atmosphere. Jupiter experiences a greater number of impactors than Earth since its mass provides a strong gravitational pull on passing objects. Jupiter is even credited with clearing space that would otherwise be filled with Earth-bound debris.
Here is Hall’s video of the event: