Previous ... Next ... Planet Profile ... Explorer ... Up a Level ... Home

Comet Fragments

This Hubble Space Telescope mosaic of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was taken on May 17, 1994, with the Wide Field Planetary Camera. When the comet was observed, its train of 21 icy fragments stretched across 1.1 million km (710 thousand mi) of space. In this view the comet was approximately 660 million km (410 million mi) from Earth, on a mid-July collision course with the planet Jupiter. Scientists labelled the nuclei using letters of the alphabet; the subsequent collisions with Jupiter were identified according to those letters.

Listen to caption: Real Audio MP3 Audio