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W. M. KECK TELESCOPE CAPTURES THE IMPACT OF COMET SHOEMAKER-LEVY 9 FRAGMENT-R ON JUPITER 5:30 UT, July 21, 1994 MAUNA KEA, HAWAII Astronomers: Imke de Pater, James R. Graham, Garrett Jernigan University of California, Berkeley with support from Wendy Harrison, Joel Aycock, David Vezie and the staff of the Keck Observatory
The movie shows the impact of Fragment-R of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter. The impact was observed at near-infrared wavelengths, 2.3 microns.
In the beginning of the movie, only part of the Southern hemisphere is visible with two former impact sites. The former impact site of Fragments P and Q appears on the left side. R hits this same spot.
The movie covers a timespan of approximately half an hour.
At 5:33 UT a first flash is detected just above the impact site, lasting for approximately 20 seconds. A second flash is detected about 20 seconds later, lasting for about a minute. Several minutes later the fireball becomes visible as a bright spot, increasing rapidly in intensity. Within a few minutes it is outshining the entire planet. The rise and fall in intensity takes about 8 minutes.