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Name: marguerite a smith
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Date: 1993 - 1999


Question:
I am a high school junior in California. I am participating in a presentation on Wednesday, January 12. Please respond to the following question either today or before 8 AM tomorrow. Thank you. What are the predicted results of the collision of the comet with Jupiter?


Replies:
From the online Readers' Guide abstracts:

SOURCE: Astronomy magazine Sept. '93, p. 18+

ABSTRACT: The fragments of Comet 1993e, also called Periodic Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, are expected to strike Jupiter on July 22, 1994. The comet evidently broke up during a close encounter with Jupiter's powerful gravity field in July 1992. Its fragments, the largest of which has an estimated diameter of about 10 kilometers, appear to be orbiting the giant planet. Experts predict that the anticipated collisions will release a formidable amount of energy, equivalent to the explosion of several million megatons of TNT. Astronomers may not see the flashes caused by the impacts, which are expected to occur on Jupiter's dark sid e, but they might observe a brightening of Jupiter's moons or an abnormally bright equatorial cloud zone caused by the upwelling of ammonia ice into the planet's upper atmosphere. See also the answer to #60 in the Astronomy Archives. You might also check the most recent issues of Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines; the January issues typically describe events for the coming year. I probably won't have time to check them before your deadline.

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