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Preliminary results of Galileo direct imaging of S-L 9 impacts

Chapman, Clark R. and Merline, William J. and Klaasen, Kenneth and Johnson, Torrence V. and Heffernan, Catherine and Belton, Michael J. S. and Ingersoll, Andrew P. (1995) Preliminary results of Galileo direct imaging of S-L 9 impacts. Geophysical Research Letters, 22 (12). pp. 1561-1564. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/95GL01030.

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Direct Galileo imaging data were obtained of the Jupiter impact sites for Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 fragments K, N, and W during their early, high-energy phases. Initial ∼5s-long flashes for all 3 impacts result from radiant bolides; analogous, abrupt onsets of luminosity observed by the Galileo photopolarimeter for other impacts must also be the bolide phase. The 3 bolides were dim at 0.56 or 0.89µm (few percent of total Jupiter) and had similar amplitudes, despite huge late-stage differences observed from Earth. Subsequent, continuous luminosity lasting ∼40s for K and ∼10s for N is optical radiation as the initial bolide train erupts into a “fireball”. The K light curve may show (a) two impacts 10s apart or (b) delayed evolution of the fireball.

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Ingersoll, Andrew P.0000-0002-2035-9198
Additional Information:© 1995 American Geophysical Union. Received December 20, 1994; accepted February 20, 1995. We thank all SL9 observers for their accurate, timely reports, which were essential to the success of the Galileo experiments. We particularly thank P. Chodas and D. Yeomans of JPL for their tireless efforts to provide the latest, best ephemerides and timing information. We thank H. Hammel, G. Orton, M. Boslough, K. Zahnle, and M.-M. Mac Low for discussions. W. Cunningham(JPL) led the Galileo engineers who developed, tested, and loaded the on-chip mosaicking flight software ahead of schedule, enabling our experiment. Finally, we appreciate all the women and men of the Galileo Project, who took on the challenge of observing SL9 on short notice, while preparing for Galileo's prime Jupiter mission under trying circumstances. They made it happen. This is Contribution #328 of the Planetary Science Institute, a division of San Juan Capistrano Research Institute. The Galileo Project is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.
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Planetary Science Institute328
Issue or Number:12
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ID Code:36276
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:09 Jan 2013 21:29
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:21

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