News Release Archive:

News Release 915 of 1032

July 21, 1994 12:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-1994-33

Color Hubble Image of Large Comet Impact on Jupiter


Image: Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Impact Sites on Jupiter

Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Impact Sites on JupiterSTScI-PRC1994-33

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This image of the giant planet Jupiter, by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, reveals the impact sites of fragments "D" and "G" from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.

The large feature was created by the impact of fragment "G" on July 18, 1994 at 3:28 a.m. EDT. It entered Jupiter's atmosphere from the south at a 45-degree angle, and the resulting ejecta appears to have been thrown back along that direction. The smaller feature to the left of the fragment "G" impact site was created on July 17, 1994, at 7:45 a.m. EDT by the impact of fragment "D".

This image was taken 1 hour and 45 minutes after fragment "G" impacted the planet. The "G" impact has concentric rings around it, with a central dark spot 1,550 miles (2,500 km) in diameter. This dark spot is surrounded by a thin dark ring 4,660 miles (7,500 km) in diameter. The dark thick outermost ring's inner edge has a diameter of 7,460 miles (12,000 km) — about the size of the Earth.

The picture is a combination of separate images taken thorugh several color filters to create this "true color" rendition of Jupiter's multi- colored clouds. The impact sites are located in Jupiter's southern hemisphere at a latitude of 44 degrees.

Object Names: Jupiter, Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: H. Hammel, MIT and NASA