Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to Gerrit Kernbauer, the Austrian-born amateur astronomer who observed an impact on Jupiter a few days ago. Here it is. Enjoy! (You can read the original interview in German below).
How would you describe the astronomy community in Austria?
It’s a pretty large community. Austria is well located for astronomy thanks to the Alps mountains. But I am not very connected within the community.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How many years have you been observing and what would say were your personal highlights?
I am a CBC/CAD technician in the metal industry. I am currently out of work. I am 31 years old, live near Vienna, and have been observing the skies since the late ‘90s. My personal highlight was the solar eclipse on August 11, 1999, which we were able to observe amazingly here in Austria.
What was it like when you realised what you just observed on Jupiter?
Before I made the discovery I was a bit disappointed by the video because the seeing wasn’t that great, that’s why I waited several days before analyzing the footage. I first discovered the light spot after I loaded the video into Autostakkert. I immediately thought of Shoemaker Levy 9 and then I uploaded the video onto YouTube and shared the video with the German speaking astronomy community which quickly confirmed my discovery.
Did you receive many media requests after you made the discovery?
Yes, I am slowly beginning to get quite a few international media requests 😉
Further commentary: I think it’s more likely to win the lottery than to make such a discovery. I am aware that it wasn’t particularly difficult to make this observation but I was unbelievably lucky. What’s particularly cool is that there was a second observation made by John Mckeon who also published the video.
Here is the video he uploaded to YouTube a few days ago: