Watching for fireballs on Jupiter

Authors


Abstract

Over a period spanning six nights starting July 16, a series of hypervelocity impacts will take place on a scale never before witnessed. Comet fragments of sizes possibly measured in kilometers will collide with Jupiter at 60 km/s.

This event has captured the imaginations of planetary scientists, professional and amateur astronomers, physicists, seismologists, atmospheric scientists, theoretical astrophysicists, and computational mathematicians. Current expectations are that the fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 will be too small to generate impacts that will be visible to Earth-based observers.

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