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The bombings will begin tomorrow morning at 4:30AM US Pacific time, 6:30AM Central, and so forth; for those living on the East Coast (or farther east), the Sun will wreck your viewing. Specifically, that's when LCROSS (the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) and its Centaur rocket crash into the Lunar South Pole, the rocket striking about four minutes before the spacecraft. The goal is to discover how much water ice exists in the Moon's permanently shadowed craters.

Click the image to see the story.

If you can see your home region in this image, you can watch the attack on the Moon with your own telescope:


NASA says you'll need a 'scope of at least 10-inch diameter to see the event. Smaller instruments don't have enough light-gathering power to show the impact flash as well as debris and possibly water vapor rising into the sunlight above the Cabeus-A crater's rim. The rocket hits first, throwing up a 5-mile-high cloud that the LCROSS spaceship flies through, using infrared spectrometers and video cameras to determine how much water is on the Moon. Here's where to look:

Click the image to see impact-site details (target crater is Cabeus-A).

However, everyone can view the event in super-resolution by going to the NASA TV site (or watching NASA TV, of course) starting 15 minutes before the first crash.

Click the image for more impact-observing tips.

Bonus: On August 17, LCROSS took this shot of the crescent Earth from 323,000 miles out, 547,000 miles from the Moon:

Click the image to see the story.

Now there's something you don't see every day. Don't miss it!

Chris

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Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
xjenavivex
Oct. 8th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
What do you think about this event?
will_couvillier
Oct. 8th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
The moon is way too close to attack it this way! I mean, really - think of the size of the spit-balls the man in the moon can hurl at us! Not to mention waking any Old Ones napping inside there!

Man, people just don't think.
xjenavivex
Oct. 8th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
I'm laughing so hard I can't eat my sandwich.
will_couvillier
Oct. 8th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
And that brings to mind yet another issue - think of what gigantic green cheese splatteres will do to Earth's ecology! Eeww!
xjenavivex
Oct. 8th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
I am glad I'm not having soup.

You should see the comments on my FB account from the link I posted about this yesterday.
mckitterick
Oct. 8th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
Ha!
mckitterick
Oct. 8th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
It's interesting and should tell us if there's water on the Moon. Is it ethical to blow a new crater into another world? Well, we wouldn't do this to Mars, for example, because of possible life and fossils of former life. But the Moon is unoccupied and gets new craters all the time.

Now, what D.D. Harriman's people living in a nearby crater will think of this is another story... ;-)
xjenavivex
Oct. 8th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
Do you know if this is an international venture?
mckitterick
Oct. 8th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
Nope, it's NASA directly. I've heard rumblings from other nations, calling this "empire-building" or a "land-grab" on the Moon....
xjenavivex
Oct. 8th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
That was one of the things that concerned me.
roseconnelly
Oct. 8th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
We have NASA tv now! Neat-o!
mckitterick
Oct. 8th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
I know! It's almost enough to get me to buy cable....
saffronhare
Oct. 8th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
Y'know, that's about the time I'll have kids up and eating breakfast tomorrow morning. Might try to get it playing on the laptop. Nothing quite like Lunar DOOM for breakfast!

I think I understand the methodology behind the choice...but WOW, does it ever make me nervous.
mckitterick
Oct. 8th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
It's TASTY!

Nervous?
saffronhare
Oct. 8th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
It just seems too much like the opening sequence of a movie in which Everything Goes Wrong, is all. But that's just me. :)
clevermanka
Oct. 8th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
So are you going to get up or stay up for this?
mckitterick
Oct. 8th, 2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
If we weren't supposed to be getting rain, I'd get up for it! 6:30am is a bit late, even for me.
ryltar
Oct. 8th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
Finally! A chance to show those moon-men who is boss!

I'll be logging onto the NASA TV site to watch this since odds are it'll be cloudy here and the even more important fact that I do not have a 'scope of any decent power.
mckitterick
Oct. 9th, 2009 06:29 am (UTC)
And the nice thing about online news is that you can watch it at noon instead of 0'dark-early in the morning....
hlmt
Oct. 9th, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
I'm torn between SF fascination and eco-consternation... =)
mckitterick
Oct. 9th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
I know!
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Oct. 9th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
It's just a warning shot. Well, it also happened to take out one of their rail-guns, but it says, "Moon-Dudes, if you keep threatening us, we'll blow up your shit!"
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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