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Benson: 20 years ago, a sobering reality hit our universe

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In March 1992, three astronomers, Carolyn and Eugene Shoemaker and David Levy discovered their ninth comet, hence its name, “Shoemaker-Levy 9.” The team determined that S-L9 was orbiting Jupiter now rather than the sun. Because Jupiter is a heavy-weight planet, exerting an enormous gravitational pull, astronomers call it the solar system’s vacuum sweeper.


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