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Name: Unknown
Status: Other
Age: N/A
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Date: Prior to 1993

Comet Levy will collide with Jupiter in July 1994. It will probably be a HUGE explosion. The collision will occur on the far side of the planet. I got an idea from Bill Higgins at Fermi to use the moons as a periscope to detect the light produced using a photometer. What can I do to see if this will work, theoretically?

It sounds like the huge explosion will produce a sudden burst of light (like a nuclear explosion) some of which might be reflected to the earth by some of Jupiter's moons... if any of Jupiter's moons happen to be in the right part of their orbit at the time of the explosion. You need to check an ephemeris to get the data on Jupiter's moons as well as the relative positions of the earth and Jupiter, and you need to know the time of the collision more accurately, day and probably hour. Then you would have to figure out where on the earth would be the best place to observe the Jovian system at the time of collision IF Jupiter happened to be in the night-time sky at the time of collision.

John Hawley

The October issue of Astronomy magazine has a brief article about the upcoming collision. As of press time for that issue (which was mid-July) the date is July 20, 1994. It is probably too early at this time to estimate the hour at which the first of the comet fragments hits Jupiter, but because there are a number of large fragments strung out like a "string of pearls", there will be several collisions that will occur over the course of roughly one earth day.

Ronald Winther

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