A search for seismic waves from the impact of the SL/9 R fragment

Charles M. Walter, Mark S. Marley, Donald M. Hunten, Ann L. Sprague, William K. Wells, Aditya Dayal, William F. Hoffmann, Mark V. Sykes, Lynne K. Deutsch, Giovanni G. Fazio, Joseph L. Hora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Jupiter was observed in the aftermath of its impact with fragment R of Comet Shoemaker-Levy/9 to search for seismic waves excited by the collision. Observations were made in the 7.8 μm methane emission band with the MIRAC2 camera at the IRTF in an attempt to detect the local perturbation to the equilibrium stratospheric temperature profile induced by the wave. Detection of a jovian seismic wave would provide the tightest constraint to date on interior models of Jupiter. Seismic waves were detected in neither direct images of the planet nor in a composite time-distance diagram which utilizes all of the available imagery. This non-detection allows us to place an upper limit on the energy of the fragment R impact of 1 × 1028 erg, assuming a seismic wave excitation efficiency of 15%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-350
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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