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Jupiter Collisions remain a mystery to scientists

The collisions that occurred on Jupiter last week remain a mystery to scientists who are currently examining this latest impact on the gas giant.

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This image shows an amateur astronomer's view of Jupiter June 3, who said he witnessed a bright flash (upper l.) from an object hitting the Jovian surface. The Jupiter collisions last week remain a mystery to scientists.

Anthony Wesley/AP

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The huge, burning object that slammed into Jupiter last week still remains a mystery to scientists who are currently examining this latest impact on the gas giant.

The newest Jupiter collision was spotted Friday by amateur astronomers Anthony Wesley in Australia and Christopher Go in the Philippines. It occurred less than a year after another object whacked Jupiter last summer.

Wesley posted photos of the blazing fireball that signaled the collision to his website. They were taken from Broken Hill, Australia. [Video of the Jupiter fireball.]

IN PICTURES: Awesome photos of Jupiter

Scientists are now analyzing the impact, in hopes of being able to identify the cosmic object that crashed into the largest planet in our solar system.

For the time being, however, there is no consensus on what it was, said Heidi Hammel of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

Hammel was the lead researcher of a study that was recently published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, which determined that a rogue asteroid about 1,600 feet (500 meters) was the culprit in another spectacular crash on Jupiter that occurred on July 19, 2009.

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