NASA captures images of Jupiter collision debris

NASA has captured amazing images of debris from an object that plunged into Jupiter after an amateur Aussie stargazer spotted the impression from his backyard.

Jupiter / NASA

Scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope to capture what they call the "sharpest visible-light picture" so far of the expanding gash. The debris possibly came from a comet or asteroid that hit Jupiter.

Amy Simon-Miller of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, told AP the magnitude of the impact is believed to be rare. Mr Simon-Miller estimates the diameter of the object that hit the planet was the size of several football fields.

Computer programmer Anthony Wesley made the rare discovery using a telescope in his backyard at Murrumbateman, north of Canberra.

He told the ABC he immediately realised its significance.

"By two o'clock I'd come back up to the house and was sending alerts to all the people I could think of that should be looking at this and especially the professional astronomers with specialised instrument for measuring this," he said.

"The sooner they could see this the more interesting and more useful science they can get from it."

The only other time in history such a feature has been seen on Jupiter was in 1994 during the collision of fragments from comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.

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