Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Facts for Kids

A Picture of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
  • Common Name: Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
  • Offical Designation: D/1993 F2
  • Orbital Period: None (Impacted into Jupiter)
  • Last Close Earth Visit: March 24th, 1993
  • Next Close Earth Visit: Never (Impacted into Jupiter)
  • Discovered: March 24th, 1993
  • Discovered by: Carolyn and Eugene Shoemaker, David Levy

17 Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Facts for Kids

  1. Shoemaker-Levy 9 is a comet that impacted the planet Jupiter in 1994.
  2. The official designation for Shoemaker-Levy 9 was D/1993 F2.
  3. The Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered on March 24th, 1993.
  4. The Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered by Carolyn Shoemaker, Eugene Shoemaker and David Levy.
  5. Shoemaker-Levy 9 provided astronomers with the first direct observation of objects in our Solar System colliding.
  6. The Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was estimated to have a diameter of 1.1 miles before it broke up.
  7. Shoemaker-Levy 9 broke apart in July 1992, due to the tidal forces of Jupiter.
  8. The fragments of Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacted Jupiter between July 16th and 22nd.
  9. The fragments of Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacted Jupiter at around 134,000 miles per hour.
  10. There was a total of 21 different impacts by fragments of Shoemaker-Levy 9.
  11. The first fragment impact was on July 16th, 1994, at 20:13 UTC.
  12. The largest impact was by fragment G on July 18th, 1994, at 07:33 UTC.
  13. Shoemaker-Levy 9 fragment G created the largest impact. It’s estimated the energy created by the impact was 600 times great than the current world’s nuclear arsenal, or about six million megatons of TNT.
  14. The impact of Shoemaker-Levy 9 fragments left temporary scars on Jupiter’s surface that were more prominent than the Great Red Spot.
  15. Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered to be orbiting Jupiter, instead of the sun. It’s estimated that it was captured into Jupiter’s orbit in the mid-1960s or early 1970s.
  16. It’s estimated that a comet the size of Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts Jupiter once every 6,000 years.
  17. 15 years (July 19th, 2009) after the Shoemaker-Levy 9 fragment impacts a new black spot was discovered on Jupiter. It’s estimated Jupiter was impacted by an undiscovered asteroid.

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