Jupiter is walloped by impacting meteors and other bodies big enough to generate fireballs visible from Earth an average of 6.5 times per year, a new study shows.
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The estimate, based on observations from a group of about 60 amateur astronomers worldwide, is a bit lower than expectations, French astronomer and project coordinator Marc Delcroix said in a statement.
Since June 2010, amateur astronomers have serendipitously observed fireballs in Jupiter's atmosphere four times, including a March 2016 impact captured in telescope images by Austria's Gerrit Kernbauer and Ireland's John McKeon.
"In three years since our program started, amateur contributors from Europe, the United States and Australia have analyzed the equivalent of more than 56 days of videos - around 53,000 videos - without discovering an impact," Delcroix said.
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The group is working to improve software that would make it easier for more amateur astronomers to join the project.