The Best Science of 1994

1. Crash of the Century.

If you've gotta go, go with a bang. That's what Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 did last July. Nearly two dozen mountain-size chunks of this fragmented interplanetary wanderer slammed into Jupiter, creating 2,000-mile-high fireballs and sooty smudges on the planet's cloud tops that were visible from backyard telescopes. Scientists learned much about Jupiter's atmosphere, about comets, and even about how a similar impact on earth might have killed off the dinosaurs. For most onlookers, though, it was just a fantastic show.

2. Gotcha!

Physicists think six types of quarks are the building blocks of all the particles within...

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