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Impact Jupiter: The Crash of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
David Levy's book is a personal odyssey of how he and the Shoemaker's (Carolyn and Gene, the latter deceased as of 1998) happened to discover the impact of SL-9 in 1995. It was the first of 3 consecutive comet shows during the 1990's, with Comet Hyukatuke in 1996 and Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 helping to revitalize astronomy and comet interest after the disappointing return of much-expected Halley's Comet in 1986.
The book does a good job of letting you experience the thrills that Levy and others went through during their confirming that the comet would hit Jupiter and the buildup to the expected collision dates. The diaries of the media frenzy are particularly illuminating. The one area where the book falls short is not having enough color photos of the impacts themselves. Published in 1995, "Impact Jupiter" should have had access to enough color photos, especially from the Hubble Space Telescope. There are some decent black-and-white shots, some interesting drawings and sketchings, but more color photos from the HST or other telescopes should have been included. Needless to say, there are a ton of such shots now available on the internet or in some quality astronomy and Hubble Telescope books.
All in all, an enjoyable and in-depth read on an event that had a long buildup and then was over in the course of a few days. Perhaps if we are lucky we will get another chance to witness a planetary impact in our solar system -- and hopefully, NOT on planet Earth!
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