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Old 10-06-09, 02:37 PM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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Lunar Impact This Friday

LUNAR IMPACT: This Friday morning, Oct 9th, at approximately 4:30 am PDT, NASA's LCROSS spacecraft and its Centaur booster rocket will plunge one after another into a shadowed crater near the Moon's south pole. The spectacular double-impact will be shown live on NASA TV from the point of view of the LCROSS spacecraft. Meanwhile, impact debris plumes emerging from the crater may be visible through backyard telescopes. North American sky watchers west of the Mississippi river are favored with darkness and good views of the Moon at the time of impact. Visit http://spaceweather.com for observing tips and full coverage.
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Old 10-06-09, 02:38 PM   #2
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Bombing the moon!
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Old 10-06-09, 02:39 PM   #3
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First test of Lunar Landfill™
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Old 10-06-09, 04:52 PM   #4
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Watch the remake "The Time Machine." then sit back and wait.

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Old 10-06-09, 05:00 PM   #5
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Has NASA calculated da 'spected size of da brie field?
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Old 10-06-09, 06:30 PM   #6
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Old 10-06-09, 06:36 PM   #7
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Has NASA calculated da 'spected size of da brie field?
The article I read is that amateur astronomers probably don't have good enough 'scopes to see it, but if they know WHEN to look they may see a bright flash for a second or two.
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Old 10-07-09, 12:14 AM   #8
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Has NASA calculated da 'spected size of da brie field?
Yep:

http://lcross.arc.nasa.gov/observation/amateur.htm

(rather than make you read the whole thing, they're planning on a 5-10 kilometer high debris plume).

I watched when the ESA smashed their SMART-1 probe into the moon (obliquely, at a lower speed, and without the dedicated shepherding spacecraft to make detailed measurements...hence this mission). I think I might have seen a brief flash in the right region of the night region of the moon.

Unfortunately, this impact will be hidden by the rim of the crater and in broad daylight. It's expected to take a 10" diameter telescope to be able to see the debris plume, so NASA TV is the best bet for coverage.

I'm not sure if there's a live camera feed, or if we'll have to wait a day or two for the imagery to be processed, however.
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Old 10-07-09, 06:30 AM   #9
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Has NASA calculated da 'spected size of da brie field?


I can't believe the last 2 posters didn't get that...
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Old 10-07-09, 09:52 AM   #10
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Mabye they are cheddar fans.
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Old 10-07-09, 11:09 AM   #11
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I can't believe the last 2 posters didn't get that...
Oh. Well, I feel dumb now.
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Old 10-07-09, 11:12 AM   #12
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Mabye they are cheddar fans.
What's wrong with Wensleydale?

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Old 10-08-09, 02:26 PM   #13
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Watch the remake "The Time Machine." then sit back and wait.

That is exactly what I was thinking this morning!
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Old 10-08-09, 05:03 PM   #14
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For those who want to watch, I believe (hope) NASA TV will be showing the separation of the Centaur second stage/impactor from the LCROSS "Shepherd" at 6:50 PM Pacific tonight.

Then there will be a big gap in coverage until 3:15 AM Pacific, when it resumes for the impact.

Some news and public access channels will likely be carrying it, or you can watch online:
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasat...l?param=public
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Old 10-08-09, 07:35 PM   #15
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Digital impact?
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Old 10-09-09, 06:44 AM   #16
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TV coverage sucked. You couldn't see the predicted 10 km impact plume. But the NASA scientists seemed to be happy with the results
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Old 10-09-09, 08:21 AM   #17
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Alas, no big plume. Next time we should send a nuclear warhead!
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Old 10-09-09, 10:58 AM   #18
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TV coverage sucked. You couldn't see the predicted 10 km impact plume. But the NASA scientists seemed to be happy with the results
I had a feeling it was going to be hard for the average viewer to have a good understanding what was going on.

There was also a minor comm link issue that necessitated them reducing the frame rate on the cameras so they didn't run out of bandwidth for the other instruments. It made the feed more jumpy than planned.

I still enjoyed myself. I went to a viewing party at the local science museum. The crowd (at 3:30 AM!) and the two news reporters who showed up surprised me. It filled up both their auditorium and planetarium to standing room only, and they said there were over 500 people when they closed the doors. No one was quite sure when to cheer, but I almost whooped when they announced Loss of Signal. Then the PAO explained that meant the impact had occurred and everyone applauded.

Not as much of a visual spectacle as I'm sure most people were hoping for, but I got a huge kick as I left to find about half a dozen "moon bombing" protestors waving signs outside.
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