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The Impacts of D/ShoemakerLevy 9 and Bioastronomy Michael F. A'Hearn

Summary: The Impacts of D/Shoemaker­Levy 9 and Bioastronomy
Michael F. A'Hearn
Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland
The impacts of comet D/Shoemaker­Levy 9 into Jupiter provided
the first chance to actually observe the effects which may be
important in causing mass extinctions. The widely predicted
global deposition of dust, leading to the phenomena
associated with 'nuclear winter', was readily observed,
although Jupiter's internal heat source causes a different
response deep in the atmosphere than occurs on Earth. Less
widely anticipated, despite recognition that global wildfires
occurred during the K­T event on Earth, was the fact that
material ejected above the stratosphere fell back onto the
stratosphere producing a major heat pulse over a scale of 10 4
km, by far the most easily and widely observed phenomenon
during the impacts.
The impacts of D/Shoemaker­Levy 9 (hereafter SL9) into
Jupiter have provided unique information about the phenomena


Source: A'Hearn, Michael F. - Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland at College Park


Collections: Physics