Detection of a bolide in Jupiter’s atmosphere with Juno UVSOPEN ACCESS 

Rohini S. Giles, Thomas K. Greathouse, Joshua A. Kammer, G. Randall Gladstone, Bertrand Bonfond, Vincent Hue, Denis C. Grodent, Jean‐Claude Gérard, Maarten H. Versteeg, Scott J. Bolton, John E. P. Connerney, Steven M. Levin

Geophysical Research Letters
First published: 09 February 2021


” • Juno UVS recorded transient blackbody emission from a point source in Jupiter’s atmosphere
• The emission is consistent with a fireball produced by a 250–5000 kg impactor in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere
• We estimate an impact flux on Jupiter of 24,000 per year for masses greater than 250–5000 kg”

“The UVS instrument on the Juno mission recorded transient bright emission from a point source in Jupiter’s atmosphere. The spectrum shows that the emission is consistent with a 9600‐K blackbody located 225 km above the 1‐bar level and the duration of the emission was between 17 ms and 150 s. These characteristics are consistent with a bolide in Jupiter’s atmosphere. Based on the energy emitted, we estimate that the impactor had a mass of 250–5000 kg, which corresponds to a diameter of 1–4 m. By considering all observations made with Juno UVS over the first 27 perijoves of the mission, we estimate an impact flux rate of 24,000 per year for impactors with masses greater than 250–5000 kg.”