|The Department Graduate Students Ground-Based Research|
The Pioneers |
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Lunar Prospector | IMAGE
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We made the only actual images of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacting into Jupiter, because the spacecraft was in position where you could see the direct impacts, which you couldn’t see from Earth. It was pretty spectacular. Of course, we saw it from the Earth in all kinds of different data before we saw it in the Galilean images, because it took a while to bring the images back. But the images we saw from Earth were just plumes coming over the horizon on Jupiter. Once Jupiter rotated you could see the impact spots, but you couldn’t really see the direct impacts.
We made a plan for the Galilean imaging that tried to cover a lot of different scenarios as far as what the brightness might be of the direct explosions. When we finally got the images down, they were really stunning images. It was pretty spectacular to see them, first of all, but also to actually come up with a plan that allowed us to see them.
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