Lunar impact tomorrow at 4:31 AM Pacific Time or 7:31 AM EDT get up early! Update – we have video
The show begins more than an hour early so don’t come at the last minute or you’ll miss the excitement of two spacecraft crashing into the moon.
See Space craft crash on moon Friday for the details.
We have the video
Impact with moon – we have the video
Coverage starts on NASA TV at 3:15 PDT or 6:15 EDT. That’s 7:15 ADT for me and I hope to capture the video.
Of course some people are really prepared and have telescopes ready.
LUNAR IMPACT: NASA has updated the time of Friday morning’s lunar impact. The LCROSS booster rocket will plunge into crater Cabeus at 4:31 am PDT (11:31 UT) followed by the LCROSS mothership four minutes later. Tune into NASA TV for live coverage of the event beginning at 3:15 am PDT (10:15 UT).
“I used NASA’s pointing chart to find target crater Cabeus,” says Lawrence.
NASA hopes many amateur astronomers will be watching on Friday. “The more eyes the better,” says LCROSS team member Brian Day of NASA/Ames. “We’ve never done this before and surprises are possible.” US sky watchers west of the Mississippi river are favored with darkness and good views of the Moon at the time of the impacts.
To observers on Earth, the initial flashes of light marking the destruction of the two spacecraft will be hidden by crater walls. The debris plumes, however, should be visible in 10-inch class telescopes as they rise 10 km high above the rim of Cabeus. Note the shadows behind the red dot in Lawrence’s image. The sunlit plumes will be highlighted by that dark backdrop: observing tips.
The impacts are designed to excavate frozen water from the cold and shadowy floor of crater Cabeus. Moon water is valuable stuff. It costs about $30,000 to rocket a liter of water from Earth to the Moon. If NASA could find water already on the Moon, it would save a lot of money for future thirsty colonists. H2O also can be split into O2 for breathing and H2 for rocket fuel.
Evidence of water will be sought in the plumes of debris that billow out of Cabeus. The Hubble Space Telescope, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and several great telescopes on Earth will monitor the plumes for spectral signs of water (H2O) or water fragments (OH). Some results could be available only hours after the impacts, so stay tuned.
Lunar Impact Resources:
- Lunar Impact Viewer’s Guide — from Science@NASA
- Lunar Impact Animation — a computer-generated view of the impacts
- Google’s LCROSS Observer’s Group — observing tips and mission updates
- NASA’s Citizen Science Site — share your images with scientists
- Spaceweather’s Image Submission Tool — share your images with the world!