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The Great Comet Crash: Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9's Jupiter Collisions Are Broadcast On Live TV On July 20, 1994, The Silver Anniversary Of Apollo 11's Moon Landing (Color, Wednesday July 20, 1994 9 PM Eastern Time, 58 Minutes.) PLUS BONUS TITLE: THE DOOMSDAY ASTEROID, An Investigation Of The History Of Catastrophic Asteroid Collisions - In Our Solar System Generally, On Earth From Its Birth To The Tunguska Event Specifically, And The Historic Shoomaker-Levy 9 Jupiter Collision Especially (Color, 1995, 58 Minutes) -- All Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An MP4 Video Download Or Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD!
* June 6, 2023: Updated And Upgraded: Updated With THE DOOMSDAY ASTEROID, And Upgraded From A Standard Format DVD To An Archival Quality Dual Layer Format DVD!
On the 25th anniversary of man's first moon landing, NPR's Terry Gross of WHYY-TV in Philadelphia hosts, and Chief Astronomer and Planetarium Director Derrick Pitts co-hosts, this live who's who on the matter of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (also known as String Of Pearls), mixed-in with pre-recorded special segments. The live segments include all three of comet's discoverers in group discussion (Carolyn and Eugene M. Shoemaker and David Levy), Heidi Hammel who led the team using the Hubble Space Telescope to view Shoemaker-Levy 9's impact, Arthur C. Clarke, Cliff Stoll, Steve Lucas' Jupiter-Comet Watch internet event, anthropologist astronomer Anthony Aveni on Jupiter and comets in mythology, plus those that responded to the opening entreaty "we're even wired up to the internet, so professional observers and back yard skywalks can all report their observations on (sic) our email address", which messages occasionally scroll at the bottom of the screen. Special segments include Bill Nye The Science Guy, a Hubble Telescope primer, the Cretaceous-Paleogene dinosaur extinction event, Fred Schneider of The B-52's on tabloid sensationalism, and a reading of Arthur C. Clarke's Hammer Of God.
Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (formally designated D/1993 F2) was a comet that broke apart in July 1992 and collided with Jupiter between July 16 and 22, 1994, providing the first direct observation of an extraterrestrial collision of Solar System objects. This generated a large amount of coverage in the popular media, and the comet was closely observed by astronomers worldwide. The collision provided new information about Jupiter and highlighted its possible role in reducing space debris in the inner Solar System. The comet was discovered by astronomers Carolyn and Eugene M. Shoemaker and David Levy in 1993. Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) had been captured by Jupiter and was orbiting the planet at the time. It was located on the night of March 24 in a photograph taken with the 46 cm (18 in) Schmidt telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California. It was the first active comet observed to be orbiting a planet, and had probably been captured by Jupiter around 20-30 years earlier. Calculations showed that its unusual fragmented form was due to a previous closer approach to Jupiter in July 1992. At that time, the orbit of Shoemaker-Levy 9 passed within Jupiter's Roche limit, and Jupiter's tidal forces had acted to pull apart the comet. The comet was later observed as a series of fragments ranging up to 2 km (1.2 mi) in diameter. These fragments collided with Jupiter's southern hemisphere at a speed of approximately 60 km/s (37 mi/s) (Jupiter's escape velocity) or 216,000 km/h (134,000 mph). The prominent scars from the impacts were more easily visible than the Great Red Spot and persisted for many months.