# Why did the Comet Shoemaker-Levy-9 fragments cause such large explosions on Jupiter?

In July 1994, the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (D/1993 F2) tidally fragmented and these fragments collided into Jupiter, as per the image below.

Image source

The question is, what mechanisms resulted in these small fragments causing such large explosions in the Jovian clouds?

An important factor is that the comet had fallen through Jupiter's gravitational field, picking up Jupiter's escape velocity of about 60 $km/s$ in addition to whatever velocity it had as it approached the Jupiter system. This paper gives detailed estimates of the sizes of all the fragments at impact. Three of them are estimated at 1km diameter or more, so they were not really small.