Movies of Comet Shoemaker-Levy Impact on Jupiter July 16, 1994

Earth Size and Jupiter Impact Aura Comparison

From Images of Fragment A Impact
South Africa Astronomical Observatory (SAAO)

Click the Image for the Quicktime Download.  Earth is approximately to Scale in this Image.

Some Diameters

Jupiter 142,284 km
Earth 12,756 km
Peak Explosion Aura ~17,000 km

Detail on SAAO Images

These are images over a period of 16 minutes in July 16, 1994. The animations run a number of times faster than real time in order to provide a sense of the temporal course of the event.  Nevertheless, this event would have engulfed the Earth in about six minutes.

SAAO Telescopes

From SAAO: "In K-band (2.2 micron) infrared images obtained with the PtSi camera mounted on the SAAO 0.75 m telescope at Sutherland, a bright fireball was observed by Dr. Kaz Sekiguchi of SAAO. The fireball appeared at the predicted location on the SE limb of Jupiter. The images were taken at 30 second intervals. The earliest faint signs of the fireball appear at about 20:17-20:18 UT, and at peak brightness it was comparable in brightness to Io. After 10 minutes, the fireball image appears to change shape, becoming elongated along the limb, presumably as the heated plume settles back. The last traces along the limb are visible at least as late as 20:38 UT. The rise in brightness is much faster than the decline.

The images are 30 sec exposures, at intervals of 1 minute, starting at 2017 UT, ending at 2032 UT. South is up and west is to the left. The bright moon is Io, and the Great Red Spot is clearly visible on the surface of Jupiter. The impact produced a flare which rapidly increased in brightness and decayed slowly. This flare is probably from a plume of material which becomes visible above the limb of Jupiter. Rotation probably plays little part in the observed event."

Kaz(uhiro) Sekiguchi is now at NAO, National Astronomical Observatory, Japan, but he works at Subaru in Hawaii.

Much More ... 


Questions? Robert Thibadeau

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