This is an illustration of Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 and Jupiter.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of H.A. Weaver, T.E. Smith (Space Telescope Science Institute) and J.T. Trauger, R.W. Evans (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), and NASA/NSSDC

The Pieces of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

The pieces of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 received names! However not all of the segments were detected, and some sections broke apart into two or more pieces after the original piece had been named.

These are the names of the pieces and the times at which they crashed into Jupiter. The times are given in Universal Time (Greenwhich Mean Time). The asterisks denote the most significant impacts. The gallery shows the images of these impacts, in order.

ImpactTime (1994)
A16-Jul 19:05B17-Jul 02:00
C17-Jul 06:06D17-Jul 10:28
E17-Jul 14:33F17-Jul 23:30
G*18-Jul 06:51H18-Jul 18:49
K*19-Jul 09:40L*19-Jul 21:35
N20-Jul 09:23P220-Jul 14:13
Q220-Jul 18:57Q120-Jul 19:24
R21-Jul 04:55S21-Jul 14:46
T21-Jul 17:53U21-Jul 21:44
V22-Jul 02:56W22-Jul 07:39

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Universal Time

When it is noon where you live, it is midnight on the opposite side of the world. Usually when we think of time, we mean "the time of day where I live". If we say something happened at 9 AM, we mean it...more

Impact on Jupiter - July 2009

On the night of July 19, 2009, Anthony Wesley noticed a dark splotch on Jupiter that hadn't been there before. Wesley, an amateur astronomer in Australia, had discovered the remnants of a huge impact on...more

Comet Hale-Bopp

Hale-Bopp continues to offer surprises as astronomers study the comet. Using the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Ultraviolet Explorer, astronomers have found that there are distinctly different...more

Missions to Halley's comet in 1986

Six spacecraft flew by Halley's comet in 1986. There were two spacecraft launched from Japan, Suisei and Sakigake, and two from the Soviet Union, Vega 1 & 2. One spacecraft, ICE, from the United States...more

The Jupiter family of comets

Comets are observed to go around the sun in a long period of time or a short period of time. Thus they are named "long-period" or "short-period" comets. One group of short-period comets, called the Jupiter...more

What we learned from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

Scientists have learned a great deal from the crash of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. Scientists traced the orbit of the comet backwards in time to guess its origin. This calculation, along with the discovery...more

The trajectory of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 over time

Mathematical theory suggests that comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was likely a short-period comet which was captured into orbit around Jupiter in 1929 and began to execute the trajectory plotted in this diagram....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA