Couldn't find element LayerAd

Error finding content

Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 - Windows to the Universe

Shop Windows to the Universe

Hands On Mineral Identification helps you to identify over 14,500 minerals! By M. Darby Dyar, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
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.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games section of our online store includes a climate change card game and the Traveling Nitrogen game!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Tidal Forces

The force of gravity caused by an object gets weaker as you move farther away from that object. In this picture, the Earth is pulling on the Moon, and the Moon is pulling on the Earth. The Moon pulls more...more

What we learned from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

Scientists have learned a great deal from the crash of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. Scientists traced the orbit of the comet backwards in time to guess its origin. The crash of a comet like Shoemaker-Levy 9...more

Impact on Jupiter - July 2009

Anthony Wesley is an astronomer in Australia. One night in July 2009, Wesley noticed a dark spot on Jupiter that hadn't been there before. He had discovered the remains of a huge impact on Jupiter! A comet...more

Exploratour - Does Europa have an Ocean?

The reason that Europa is warm is because of tides. An example of what happens is shown in this drawing of the Earth and Moon. In this picture, the Earth is pulling on the Moon, and the Moon is pulling...more

Comet Hale-Bopp

Comet Hale-Bopp was one of the brightest comets of all time. Astronomers witnessed the comet spew out intermittent bursts of dust. The surface seemed to be an incredibly dynamic place, with 'vents' being...more

Missions to Halley's comet in 1986

Six spacecraft flew to Halley's comet in 1986. There were two spacecraft launched from Japan, named Suisei and Sakigake, and two from the Soviet Union, named Vega 1 & 2. One spacecraft, ICE, was from the...more

The Jupiter family of comets

Astronomers have noticed a group of comets which they call the Jupiter Family of Comets. This family of comets is to be found circling between Jupiter and the sun, as shown in this picture. The comets...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF