Fragmentation modelling of the 2019 August impact on Jupiter

Ramanakumar Sankar, Csaba Palotai, Ricardo Hueso, Marc Delcroix, Ethan Chappel, Agustin Sánchez-Lavega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


On 2019 August 7, an impact flash lasting ∼1 s was observed on Jupiter. The video of this event was analysed to obtain the light curve, and determine the energy release and initial mass. We find that the impactor released a total energy of 96–151 kilotons of TNT, corresponding to an initial mass between 190 and 260 metric tonnes with a diameter between 4 and 10 m. We developed a fragmentation model to simulate the atmospheric breakup of the object and reproduce the light curve. We model three different materials: cometary, stony, and metallic at speeds of 60, 65, and 70 km s−1, respectively, to determine the material make-up of the impacting object. The slower cases are best fitted by a strong, metallic object while the faster cases require a weaker material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4622-4630
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society


  • Comets: general
  • Meteorites, meteors, meteoroids
  • Minor planets, asteroids: general


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