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P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 in Jupiter


Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9, taken on May 17, 1994, with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) in wide field mode. When the comet was observed, its train of 21 icy fragments stretched across 1.1 million km of space, or 3 times the distance between Earth and the Moon. This required 6 WFPC exposures spaced along the comet train to include all the nuclei. The image was taken in red light.



The comet was approximately 660 million km from Earth when the picture was taken, on a mid4uly collision course with the gas giant planet Jupiter.



Credit: NASA, ESA, and H. Weaver and E. Smith (STScI)

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