HST spectroscopic observations of Jupiter after the collision of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

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Science  03 Mar 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5202, pp. 1307-1313
DOI: 10.1126/science.7871428


Ultraviolet spectra obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope identified at least 10 molecules and atoms in the perturbed stratosphere near the G impact site, most never before observed in Jupiter. The large mass of sulfur-containing material, more than 10(14) grams in S2 alone, indicates that many of the sulfur-containing molecules S2, CS2, CS, H2S, and S+ may be derived from a sulfur-bearing parent molecule native to Jupiter. If so, the fragment must have penetrated at least as deep as the predicted NH4SH cloud at a pressure of approximately 1 to 2 bars. Stratospheric NH3 was also observed, which is consistent with fragment penetration below the cloud tops. Approximately 10(7) grams of neutral and ionized metals were observed in emission, including Mg II, Mg I, Si I, Fe I, and Fe II. Oxygen-containing molecules were conspicuous by their absence; upper limits for SO2, SO, CO, SiO, and H2O are derived.

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