"Only Herschel was able to provide the sensitive spectral imaging needed to find the missing link between Jupiter's water and the 1994 impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
," Thibault Cavalie of the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux, lead author of the paper said.
After seeing Shoemaker-Levy 9
crash into Jupiter, people began to pay closer attention to objects that could strike Earth.
After witnessing Shoemaker-Levy 9
's collision with Jupiter, people began to pay closer attention to objects that could pose a threat to Earth.
With wife Carolyn, he discovered about 20 comets, including Shoemaker-Levy 9
, which slammed into Jupiter in 1994.
"When scientists observed the impacts of the pieces of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
on Jupiter in July, 1994, they said that the impact of a fragmented comet could never happen here on Earth because the Earth's gravitational field is too weak to break a comet into pieces," notes David Rowley, associate professor in geophysical sciences, University of Chicago (Ill.).
David Levy, with Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker, had just found Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
. They didn't yet know that just a year later the enigmatic object would crash right into Jupiter itself.
1993 - Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
is discovered by American astronomers Carolyn and Eugene Shoemaker and Canadian astronomer David Levy.
In July 1994, Galileo also witnessed the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
with Jupiter, the first observation of such an impact as it occurred on any planet besides Earth.
During the crossing, icy and rocky debris in the belt could crash into the planet's atmosphere and create the type of cosmic fireworks seen when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
crashed into Jupiter.
Scientists traced a similar structure in Jupiter's rings--spied by the Galileo probe--to debris littered by comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
as it crashed into that planet in 1994.
Exactly 15 years after the famous bombardment of Jupiter by comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
(SL9), a new impact site appeared on 2009 July 19.
1994 Photographs the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
crashing into Jupiter.