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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!