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Impact Times for the Missing Fragments of Shoemaker-Levy 9


Impact Times for the Missing Fragments of Shoemaker-Levy 9

P.W. Chodas, D.K. Yeomans, and Z. Sekanina (JPL/Caltech)
July 8, 1994

Since the discovery of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, some of the fragments of have disappeared from view. These were probably smaller fragments to begin with, and they have probably disintegrated further, but some sizeable pieces may remain amongst the debris at these locations in the train. We have computed approximate impact times for three of these missing fragments, based on the few available positional measurements, and using our tidal disruption model:

  Fragment    Impact      Last Seen
             July (UTC)
   J = 13    19  02:40    Dec. 1993
   M = 10    20  05:45    July 1993
   P1= 8a    20  16:30    Mar. 1994

The uncertainties on these impact times are large: probably about 60 min., 1-sigma. The impact locations are consistent with those of the other fragments, i.e., at jovicentric latitude -44 and well behind the limb of Jupiter as seen from the Earth.

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