A Caltech Library Service

Palomar observations of the R impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9: II. Spectra

Nicholson, P. D. and Gierasch, P. J. and Hayward, T. L. and McGhee, C. A. and Moersch, J. E. and Squyres, S. W. and Van Cleve, J. and Matthews, K. and Neugebauer, G. and Shupe, D. and Weinberger, A. and Miles, J. W. and Conrath, B. J. (1995) Palomar observations of the R impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9: II. Spectra. Geophysical Research Letters, 22 (12). pp. 1617-1620. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/95GL01067.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present mid-infrared spectroscopic observations from Palomar observatory of the impact of fragment R of comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter on 21 July 1994. Low-resolution 8–13 µm spectra taken near the peak of the lightcurve show a broad emission feature that resembles the silicate feature commonly seen in comets and the interstellar medium. We use this feature to estimate the dust content of the impact plume. The overall infrared spectral energy distribution at the time of peak brightness is consistent with emission from an optically-thin layer of small particles at ∼600 K. Integrating over the spectrum and the lightcurve, we obtain a total radiated energy from the R impact of ≥ 2 × 10^(25) ergs and a plume mass of ≥ 3 × 10^(13) g.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Nicholson, P. D.0000-0003-2275-4463
Shupe, D.0000-0003-4401-0430
Weinberger, A.0000-0001-6654-7859
Additional Information:Copyright 1995 by the American Geophysical Union. (received December 5, 1994; revised March 1, 1995; accepted March 10, 1995.) Paper number 95GL01067. We would like to thank the staff of Palomar Observatory for their extra efforts on behalf of this project, which required unusual telescope and instrument operations. James Graham and Imke dePater generously provided advance copies of the Keck lightcurve, from which the 2.3 µm points in Fig. 2 were taken. This research was supported by the NASA Planetary Astronomy Program.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141029-131913132
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:51014
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:29 Oct 2014 20:40
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:04

Repository Staff Only: item control page