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SPIREX Image of Fragment A Impact


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Plume from explosion of first fragment of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 observed by an infrared telescope at the South Pole called the South Pole Infrared Explorer (SPIREX). Images are shown before the impact, and about 20 minutes after impact, when the impact site has rotated into view. Both images show Io, the innermost large moon of Jupiter (the bright spot to the right) and the dimmer polar regions of the planet (top left and bottom center), while the post impact image shows a region of bright infrared emission at the impact site (bright spot to the lower left). These observations were performed by University of Chicago astronomers Mark Hereld, Hien Nguyen (at the South Pole), Bernard J. Rauscher, and Scott A. Severson.

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