Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Jupiter Impact (Visualization)

June 18, 2019
CreditNASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
Historical DateSeptember 21, 2009
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This visualziation shows the major fragments of comet Showmaker-Levy 9 colliding with Jupiter in 1994.

The orbits are driven using ephemeris data. The impacts occurred over a series of about six Earth days which is why Jupiter (which rotates about once every Earth 10 hours) appears to be rotating so fast in this visualization; time is is depicted at about 7 hours per second of animation.

The comet fragments shown are: "a", "b", "c", "d", "e", "f", "g", "h", "k", "l", "n", "p", "p", "q", "q", "r", "s", "t", "u", "v", and "w". Several letters were skipped (due to lack of ephemeris) and 2 letters "p" and "q" appear twice; these are also known as "p1", "p2", "q1", and "q2".