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Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

(D/1993 F2, Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9)
(comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994)

Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 is a small comet discovered in 1993, determined to be orbiting Jupiter and which collided with Jupiter in 1994. It is presumed to have been captured from a solar orbit in the 1960s or 1970s. At the time of its discovery, it was in a highly eccentric orbit (e=0.9986) with an apoapsis of about a third of an AU, and with a substantial orbital inclination (94° from the ecliptic). The collision as well as the temporary visible effects to Jupiter were observed and analyzed. The event was a clue to the frequency of such impacts, and provided data on the nature of comets and Jupiter.

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