For a period of about six days centered on July 19, 1994, fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter, the solar system's largest planet. No such event was ever before available for study. Scientists and amateur astronomers through the world spent anxious days watching the comet fragments smash into the atmosphere. Their observations provided valuable data about the comet's composition and the dynamics of the Jovian atmosphere.
This section offers some background material on Jupiter, comets, and what scientists learned when Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter.
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