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Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9: Three Days to First Impact


Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9: Three Days To the First Impact

This image of the leading fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (A-G) was obtained on July 13, 1994, 00:00 UT with the 3.5-metre New Technology Telescope. It was made by visiting astronomer Pierre Dubath (Lick Observatory, California, USA and Geneva Observatory, Switzerland) with the EMMI instrument and a 2000 x 2000 pixel CCD, covering a field of about 10 arcminutes across. Only a subset of the total image is shown here. The A fragment is at the upper-left, it is diffuse and quite faint. The other fragments extend in a line towards the lower-right. The brightest fragments are E (close to the centre) and G which is close to the lower-right corner and appears double.

Technical data: 20 min red exposure with EMMI RILD during poor conditions. North is up and East is to the left. The frame was flat-fielded and the strong, uneven background caused by stray-light from Jupiter was removed by image processing.

This is ESO PR Photo SL9J/94-08 dated July 14, 1994. It may be reproduced, if credit is given to the European Southern Observatory.

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