Computational simulations of the impacts of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) fragments on Jupiter provide a framework for interpreting the observations. A reasonably consistent picture has emerged, along with a more detailed understanding of atmospheric collisional processes. The knowledge gained from the observations and simulations of SL9 has led us to consider the threat of impact-generated plumes to satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO). Preliminary simulations suggest that impacts of a size that recur about once per century on Earth generate plumes that rise to nearly 1000 km over an area thousands of km in diameter. Detailed modeling of such plumes is needed to quantify this threat to satellites in LEO. Careful observations of high-energy atmospheric entry events using both satellite and ground-based instruments would provide validation for these computational models.

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