Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 "Gang Of Four

In July 1994, 21 chunks of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which had broken apart a year earlier, slammed into Jupiter. The Hubble telescope recorded this spectacular event. In this image, taken in 1994, Hubble captures the fractured comet itself as a 'string of pearls'

This is a composite HST image taken in visible light showing thetemporal evolution of the brightest region of comet P/Shoemaker-Levy9. In this false-color representation, different shades of redcolor are used to display different intensities of light.

[top panel] - This shows data taken on 1 July 1993, prior to theHST servicing mission. The separation of the two brightestfragments is only 0.3", so ground-based telescopes could not resolvethis pair. The other two fragments just to the right of theclosely-spaced pair are only barely detectable due to HST'sspherical aberration.

Credit:

Dr. Hal Weaver and T. Ed Smith (STScI), and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo9421a
Type:Observation
Release date:18 May 1994, 06:00
Size:332 x 724 px

About the Object

Name:Shoemaker-Levy 9
Type:• Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Comet
• X - Solar System Images/Videos

Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Optical
R
Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

Image Formats

Large JPEG
102.6 KB
Screensize JPEG
433.0 KB

Also see our