HST imaging of atmospheric phenomena created by the impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

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Science  03 Mar 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5202, pp. 1288-1296
DOI: 10.1126/science.7871425


Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images reveal major atmospheric changes created by the collision of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter. Plumes rose to 3000 kilometers with ejection velocities on the order of 10 kilometers second-1; some plumes were visible in the shadow of Jupiter before rising into sunlight. During some impacts, the incoming bolide may have been detected. Impact times were on average about 8 minutes later than predicted. Atmospheric waves were seen with a wave front speed of 454 +/- 20 meters second-1. The HST images reveal impact site evolution and record the overall change in Jupiter's appearance as a result of the bombardment.

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