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Calar Alto Images of Fragment ACEFH Impacts

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A chain of impact sites on Jupiter

Images of Jupiter taken by the MAGIC infrared camera from the 3.5 meter telescope on Calar Alto in southern Spain. The images were taken at two different infrared wavelengths: 1.7 (right) and 2.3 (left) microns. Because Jupiter is dark at both wavelengths, the contrast between new spots and the planet's atmosphere is enhanced. The 2.3 micron "Jupiter Killer" filter is best for this purpose while the 1.7 micron filter allows more atmospheric structure to be seen. The images were taken only a few minutes apart and the following description applies to both of them. On the right, just to the south of the equatorial cloud deck, is the great red spot disappearing over the horizon. Rotating into view at a slightly lower latitude on the left are two white ovals, persistent features in the jovian atmosphere. Five newborn ovals are apparent at lower latitudes, strung along in a single glowing band that encircles the planet. These are the offspring of Shoemaker Levy 9, a comet that was torn to pieces after straying too close to Jupiter in 1992. Over the week of July 16-22, 1994, the fragments return to Jupiter, each one leaving its distinctive mark on the face of the giant planet. This image shows five spots; from left to right: C7 (on the limb), A8 (double), E6 (center and bright), F5 (faint and near E6), H3. In this code, the letter signifies the impact fragment and the number tells how many times that the spot has rotated onto the Earth-facing side of Jupiter.

Observers at Calar Alto:
Tom Herbst, Kurt Birkle, Ulrich Thiele 
(Max-Plack-Institut fuer Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany) 
Doug Hamilton 
(Max-Plack-Institut fuer Kernphysik, Heidelberg, Germany)
Hermann Boenhardt, Alex Fiedler, Karl-Heinz Mantel 
(Universitaets Sternwarte Muenchen, Germany) 
Jose Luis Ortiz 
(Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, Granada, Spain) 
Giovanni Calamai, Andrea Richichi 
(Osservatorio di Arcetri, Firenze, Italy) 
Contact: Mark McCaughrean, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie 
         Koenigstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany 
         Phone: (49) 6221 528 303 
         FAX:   (49) 6221 528 246 
         e-mail (Internet)

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