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Re: three impacts at the K-T boundary

If I recall correctly, Shoemaker-Levy 9 was actually in orbit around
Jupiter before it came apart (and it was pulled apart by Jovian tidal
forces). The resulting impact was accelerated by Jupiter's gravity,
rather than simply being an intersection between two bodies moving
at similar in-system speeds. If such a comet hit Earth, it wouldn`t
be likely to hit as hard, because Earth's mass, and thus gravity, is
a lot less than Jupiter's. (I've seen a value of 2.5 g for Jupiter's
"surface" gravity, but that's somewhat arbitrary since there isn`t
a surface in the sense that we usually think of it.)

Vicki Rosenzweig
New York, NY