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.


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

About the Image

NASA press release
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
Category:Solar System

Image Formats

r.titleLarge JPEG
103.8 KB
r.titleScreensize JPEG
440.1 KB

Colours & filters

Hubble Space Telescope

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