Last week, a meteor struck Jupiter, and it was so giant that amateur astronomers could see it through their telescopes. One such "astrophotographer," George Hall of Dallas, Texas, had a camera and telescope pointed at the planet at the time, and got this incredible video of the explosion, which only lasted between 1.5-2 seconds. As a planet, Jupiter protects Earth in many ways, as EarthSky explains:
"Jupiter’s gravity also protects us. Long-period comets enter the solar system from its outer reaches. Jupiter’s gravity slings most of these fast-moving ice balls out of the solar system before they can get close to Earth. So long-period comets are thought to strike Earth only about every 30 million years. Without Jupiter nearby, long-period comets would collide with our planet up to 1000 times more frequently."
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