Debris from the July 19th mystery-impact on Jupiter has split into three clouds. The trifurcation is evident in this August 7th image taken by Rick Schrantz using a 10-inch telescope at his backyard observatory in Nicholasville, Kentucky:
© Rick Schrantz

Other observers have noticed the same thing. "There appear to be 3 distinct impact scars now, somewhat linear in shape and perhaps larger than previous days," reports Joel Warren of Amarillo, Texas. He took these pictures using an 8-inch telescope.

Jupiter's upper atmosphere is a dynamic place. The cindery impact debris appears to be caught up in a cascade of turbulent swirls and eddies, which is literally ripping the cloud apart. Amateur astronomers can monitor what happens next: The impact is located near Jupiter's System II longitude 210°. For the predicted times when it will cross the planet's central meridian, add 2 hours and 6 minutes to Sky and Telescope's predicted transit times for Jupiter's Great Red Spot.

more images: from Mike Salway of Central Coast, NSW Australia; from Raffaello Lena of Rome, Italy; from Alphajuno of League City, Texas; from Mike Hood of Kathleen, Georgia, USA