This Friday the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will plunge into the moon resulting in a fireworks show like none other. Yes, Nasa is plunging testing equipment into a permanently shadowed crater at the moon’s south pole.
The projected impact at the lunar south pole is 4:30am PDT. This is not promising for us CT folks. By 7:30 the sun is definitely rising and will greatly reduce the potential of seeing the impact.
Nasa’s overview reports:
Following four minutes behind, the shepherding spacecraft will fly through the debris plume, collecting and relaying data back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface and creating a second debris plume.
So where’s it going down? In the tiny red dot at the bottom of the moon.
Now, my telescope is decent… but it’s not epic. It’s an 8 inch schmidt cassegrain by Celestron. And my best eye-piece… it’s a little foggy. Over at this Nasa page there’s a list of what your telescope will be capable of seeing… and it looks like the event size will be 0.15-0.48% of my viewing field. That’s tiny. The additional brightness of 7:30am is also a bummer.
Either way, keep your fingers Lcrossed* for good weather.