McDonald Observatory Imaging Observations of the Shoemaker-Levy 9/Jupiter Event and its Effects

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Session 43 -- SL-9, Comets, Solar System
Display presentation, Tuesday, 10, 1995, 9:20am - 6:30pm

[43.02] McDonald Observatory Imaging Observations of the Shoemaker-Levy 9/Jupiter Event and its Effects

A. L. Cochran (U. Texas), K. H. Baines (JPL), E. S. Barker, B. E. Clark, W. D. Cochran, M. Frueh (U. Texas), S. Kim, Y. Kim (U. Maryland), A. Kudari, D. F. Lester (U. Texas), C. Na (SwRI), W. Pryor (LASP), J. Gyorgyey Ries, L. Trafton, A. L. Whipple, J. Wiant (U. Texas)

We report on optical and IR images of Jupiter which were obtained at McDonald prior to the impacts of Shoemaker-Levy 9, during impacts, about one week following the last impact, one and two months after the last impact. The optical (CCD) observations were obtained with either the 0.9\,m or 0.8\,m telescopes through narrow-band filters which isolate the 6190 and 8900\AA\ CH$_{4}$ bands and continuum regions at 6040, 7640 and 8290\AA. A barlow lens expanded the image so that Jupiter mostly filled the chip. During the impacts and the following time, we obtained at least some data on each of 15 ``nights'' (we started observing as early as 4pm). The IR images were obtained on the 2.7\,m telescope using a NICMOS3 array (Rokcam) with filters to isolate the 1.5$\mu$m NH$_{3}$ band, the 2.3$\mu$m CH$_{4}$ band, the 2.12$\mu$m H$_2$ S(0) pressure induced dipole absorption and the continuum at 1.58$\mu$m and short K-band. Rokcam observations were obtained on 13 nights during and following the impacts. In the course of our observations, we observed the flash associated with the impact of fragment R. Observations were obtained during the U and V impact periods, but no flashes were detected. We compare images of the planet obtained with the CCD and Rokcam. We show a time sequence of certain longitudes of Jupiter to illustrate the changing spot morphology. Cross-cuts of the images for different wavelengths are compared to show how the morphology of the spots, bands, etc. change with latitude and wavelength. A radiative transfer model has been fit to some of the images in order to model the aerosal content and other features seen in the images.

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