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This is an image of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, broken into many pieces.
Click on image for full size
NASA/NSSDC and the Space Telescope Science Institute

Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was the ninth comet discovered by Gene Shoemaker, his wife Carolyn, and partner David Levy, in 1993.

The comet had first broken apart in space in 1992, after a close passage near the planet Jupiter, and then plunged directly into Jupiter on its very next pass by the giant planet in 1994.

The crash of the comet into the planet has helped scientists learn a great deal more about comets, Jupiter, orbits, and the history of the solar system itself. For example, observations now suggest that moons of Jupiter have been struck by strings of comets in the past.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA