National Geographic Daily News

Shoemaker-Levy 9 Comet

Photograph courtesy Dr. H. A. Weaver and Mr. T. E. Smith, STScI/NASA

This enlargement of a 1993 Hubble Space Telescope image shows the brightest nuclei in a string of approximately 20 objects that comprise Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 as it hurtled toward a July I994 collision with the giant planet Jupiter. Shoemaker-Levy 9 was the first comet discovered to be orbiting a planet, Jupiter, instead of the sun.