The Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure Calls For Jupiter Watchers
A researcher with the French Astronomical Society has organized a group of amateur astronomers from all over the world, to watch for and report fireballs caused by meteors crashing into Jupiter.
Sky-gazers from Australia, Europe, Japan, the United States and elsewhere have identified four Jupiter fireball impacts since June 2010 so Marc Delcroix created the Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure, a collaborative research program sponsored by the European Union.
His goal is to integrate and support planetary science activities throughout Europe.
“Dramatic impacts with Jupiter can be captured with standard amateur equipment and analyzed with easy-to-use software,” Delcroix explained.
“But to get a good estimate of how often these events occur, we need observers around the world who are willing to collaborate to create a program of more-or-less continuous monitoring of Jupiter.”
Since the software designed to model Jupiter fireballs don’t have enough real data to produce accurate estimates, astronomers are still dealing with the statistics of a very few number of impacts detected.
Estimates suggest an average of 6.5 meteors hit Jupiter each year.