On penetration depth of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 fragments into the Jovian atmosphere


The actual penetration depth of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 fragments into the Jovian atmosphere is still an open question. From fundamental equations of meteoric physics with variable cross-section, a new analytic model of energy release of the fragments is presented. In use of reasonable parameters, a series of results are calculated for different initial mass of the fragments. The results show that the largest fragment explodes above pressure levels of 3 bars and does not penetrate into the H2O cloud layer of the Jovian atmosphere, and that airburst of smaller fragments occur even above the upper cloud layer.

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Hu, Z., Chu, Y. & Zhang, K. On penetration depth of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 fragments into the Jovian atmosphere. Earth Moon Planet 73, 147–155 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00114146

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  • Atmosphere
  • Penetration Depth
  • Energy Release
  • Pressure Level
  • Small Fragment