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HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON

 
Crash Dummy
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10/06/2009 09:08 PM
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HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
How to watch NASA’s big crash on the moon
Rocket motor to smash into lunar south pole Friday to find hidden water ice
By Joe Rao
Skywatching columnist
Space.com
updated 2:46 p.m. MT, Tues., Oct . 6, 2009
Get ready for a unique cosmic collision! Early Friday morning, NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite will end its mission with a bang — literally.

The probe — also known by its acronym, LCROSS — is currently carrying along the upper stage of the rocket that launched it on its way to the moon on June 18. NASA's game plan is to send that spent rocket motor on a course to smash into the lunar surface. Not just anywhere on the lunar surface, but to a thoroughly scrutinized crater called Cabeus that lies near the moon's south pole and is enveloped in perpetual darkness. The hoped-for result will be to find hidden water frozen inside the crater.

For seasoned skywatchers here on Earth, the event should also produce a visible cloud of ejected material. However, only knowledgeable amateur astronomers with the right equipment will be able to detect the event. Others can watch the event live on NASA TV.

Smackdown!
The general belief among astronomers is that over the last few billion years, the moon has been bombarded by countless numbers of comets. The water from most of these comets completely sublimated away, but if any settled at the bottom of a crater near the moon's poles, those permanently shadowed regions can keep the water from disappearing and lock it up as ice for a very long time.

Cabeus is a relatively flat crater about 60 miles (100 kilometers) in diameter on the moon's south pole. Scientists believe the crater may be one of those special cases that holds water ice in its perpetually shadowed top soil. NASA initially selected a different target for LCROSS, the nearby crater of Cabeus A, but switched to the larger Cabeus because data suggested it had a higher likelihood of containing hidden water ice.

The impact is scheduled to occur this Friday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 a.m. ET. That's 4:30 a.m. PT, or 11:30 UT. To convert Universal Time to your local time, go here.

Impact will occur less than 10 hours after the spent Centaur rocket motor is released and the LCROSS "shepherding spacecraft" maneuvers into position to trail the Centaur en route to the lunar surface. The 5,000-pound (2,270-kilogram) Centaur is expected to slam into Cabeus at a sharp angle at a speed of 5,600 mph (9,000 kilometers per hour).


If all goes according to schedule, the shepherding vehicle, carrying nine science payloads, will follow the Centaur's plunge into the moon, beaming back data live to Earth. Like a bullet hitting sand, the Centaur stage's explosive collision is expected to create a crater roughly 60 or 70 feet wide (20 meters wide) and perhaps as much as 16 feet (5 meters) deep, in the process dredging up approximately 385 tons of lunar dust and soil — enough to fill nearly 18 school buses. In addition to recording the collision, the shepherding spacecraft will fly through the regolith plume thrown up by the collision, just before it too slams into the lunar surface some four minutes later, kicking up its own smaller plume of debris.

In the minutes leading up to its sacrifice to the cause of science, the 1,500-pound (700-kilogram) shepherding spacecraft will use its specialized sensors to look for water's telltale chemical signature within the larger debris plume created by the Centaur, possibly in the form of ice, hydrocarbons or hydrated materials.

How to watch
NASA wants amateur astronomers to join in a "citizen scientist" program. Jennifer Heldmann heads the LCROSS observing campaign. "We would like to have as many eyes and instruments watching the impact as possible, because this is the way we'll get the most data and the most information as possible," she said.


Those who live to the west of Mississippi River will have the best opportunity, because the sky will still be dark. Those living east of the Mississippi will still be able to see the moon, but they'll also have to contend with morning twilight or, in the case of those living along the Atlantic Seaboard, daylight after sunrise. That makes for a much brighter sky background.

To see LCROSS' effect, a dark backdrop will be an important prerequisite, since it's estimated that the debris plume will be no brighter than a sixth-magnitude star (the threshold of naked-eye visibility), and quite likely even fainter.

If you want to try seeing the impact yourself, you need to be aware of some important points.


The bigger, the better
First, you're going to need a moderately large telescope, somewhere on the order of at least 10 to 12 inches (250mm to 300mm) of aperture. Smaller telescopes will probably not be able to do the job, and you will definitely not see anything using binoculars. You'll likely need to use magnifications in the 250- to 500-power range to have a legitimate chance of getting a glimpse of the dim impact plume.

Keep in mind that high power dilutes the brightness of an image, and aggravates any unsteadiness of detail. As a general rule of thumb, the maximum amount of magnification for any telescope should be 50-power per inch of aperture.

"But wait a minute," you may protest, "my telescope comes with a special Barlow lens that the manufacturer promises will double or even triple the magnification of my eyepiece."

True enough. In fact, that aforementioned 500-power is likely achieved by pushing the scope's highest power eyepiece with that very same Barlow lens, which ultimately will result in a dim, impossibly fuzzy image.

If you're a beginner, you need to understand that that using a Barlow lens is similar to enlarging a photograph. The negative, like a telescope's image, contains only so much detail, which can be blown up only so far before all you can see is fuzz! So if you have a 3-inch (75mm) department store telescope — even if it is blessed with perfect optics — the claim of 500-power is more than three times the limit of the most practical magnification that it can provide.

The impact will take place at the lunar south pole, or on the lower limb of the moon along the dark portion immediately adjacent to the terminator (the line that separates the illuminated day side and the dark night side of the Moon). Try to keep the very bright sunlit portion of the moon out of the field of view as much as possible.

The plume is expected to be in the shape of a "Vm" but it will be exceedingly small in size relative to the moon itself. According to NASA's Brian H. Day, the dusty material is only expected to rise about 6 miles (10 kilometers) above the lunar surface. From Earth, that would be equal to about one-quarter of 1 percent of the moon's apparent size or about 5.2 arc seconds.

To get an idea of just how large this is, point your telescope toward Jupiter, which conveniently shines in the southern part of our current evening sky. Jupiter's disk currently measures 45 arc seconds in diameter; so the dust plume from LCROSS would appear only about one-ninth as large as that!



[link to www.msnbc.msn.com]

Last Edited by Phennommennonn on 02/28/2012 08:07 AM
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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10/06/2009 09:11 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
here is a picture of the crater being targeted

[link to msnbcmedia4.msn.com]
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 09:11 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
they're coming.....
Spankin Monkey

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10/06/2009 09:14 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
I think the grays are organizing a site seeing trip for this.

Just go to your local gray UFO stop by Thursday PM to arrange your seat. I hear its first come first served.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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10/06/2009 09:17 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
nice vid of the moon... using Hubble pics ... they already know there is water on the moon

[link to www.space.com]
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 09:22 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
I feel sorry for the little village of little blue fuzzywugs who inhabit the bottom of that crater.

MOON DOOM!!
Ponzi

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10/06/2009 09:42 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
I can see it all now, fifty years later, conspiracy "We never bombed the moon!!"
Land of the Fee, Home of the Slave
..but I'm still right here, giving blood, keeping faith, and I'm still right here.

If at first you dont succeed...just keep suckin'

Even if you lock me up & throw away the key, my face can still breakout!
neteru<>

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10/06/2009 09:43 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
I can see it all now, fifty years later, conspiracy "We never bombed the moon!!"
 Quoting: Ponzi

what?
We have finally come back to the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus, who said everything is flow, flux, process. There are no "things." Bruce Lee
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 09:50 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
won't happen! good et will simply not allow this!
We Are Doomed

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10/06/2009 09:55 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
And so it begins.

We're doomed.
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 09:55 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
wish i had better gear to see this. Afraid my lil 8inch Dob wont be of much good.

will just watch it online=D
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 09:58 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
Don't worry the E.T s will disable lcross. I will hate to see the Monday morning memo the E.T s will send to nasa
The Commentator

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10/06/2009 10:09 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
And so it begins.

We're doomed.
 Quoting: We Are Doomed



Perhaps, but not from this.

Why were we not doomed the five times we impacted other upper stages on the Moon? Upper stages that weighed more than seven times as much?
non sufficit Orbis

Being a zetatard means never having to make sense.

"Nancy pays me to post on Her threads"

Free Store admits to being a paid zetadrool shill

NO max/bridget EVER!!!!!
NO luser EVER!!!
NO clunker EVER!!!!!
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 10:09 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
Whats that in GLP time??
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 10:13 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
What kind of a preposterous idea is that? Man truly is too arrogant, and thus pride comes before the fall. I highly doubt they will bomb ANY parts of the moon, as it can have well, frankly put unexpected consequences...

Are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not a mistake too many?
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 10:13 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
The moon has an ice core. If we hit that ice core where it shows at the poles, we will split the moon in two.

Half will move towards the earth and collide with earth in 17 months while the other half will move to an orbit further out.
Toad
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10/06/2009 10:17 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
Well good. Now I don't have to do my homework because the moon will be blown to bits when I get up on friday.
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 10:19 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
Well, we'll see if the "moon fails to give it's light" after the event.

I say don't "f" with nature.

The moon might fight back you know.
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 10:21 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
White House to throw star party Wednesday
20 telescopes will be set up on lawn for attendees to gaze at moon, Jupiter


updated 55 minutes ago

President Barack Obama will welcome skywatchers to the White House Wednesday for an evening of stargazing with the first family.

A group of professional and amateur astronomers will set up more than 20telescopes on the White House lawn during the presidential star party to mark the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009), a celebration of the 400th anniversary of famed astronomer Galileo Galilee's first use of a telescope to observe the night sky. President Obama, his family and a group of local middle-school students are expected to attend.

Top targets on the celestial menu: The craters and mountains of Earth's moon, Jupiter and its own moons, and other stars and objects.


The White House star party will begin Wednesday night at around 8 p.m. EDT with a kickoff address by President Obama to be broadcast live onNASA TV. It corresponds with World Space Week, which began Sunday and ends Oct. 10.



[link to groups.yahoo.com]
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 10:21 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
Man isn't happy unless he's blowing something up.


flick
The Commentator

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10/06/2009 10:34 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
Well, we'll see if the "moon fails to give it's light" after the event.

I say don't "f" with nature.

The moon might fight back you know.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 784350



The Moon has no light, kid. It shines by reflected SUNLIGHT.
non sufficit Orbis

Being a zetatard means never having to make sense.

"Nancy pays me to post on Her threads"

Free Store admits to being a paid zetadrool shill

NO max/bridget EVER!!!!!
NO luser EVER!!!
NO clunker EVER!!!!!
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 11:00 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
I can see it all now, fifty years later, conspiracy "We never bombed the moon!!"

what?
 Quoting: neteru<>


The real conspiracy is there is no moon.
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 11:07 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
nice vid of the moon... using Hubble pics ... they already know there is water on the moon

[link to www.space.com]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 683607

That's why I believe their is more to this than meets the eye. NASA=BS
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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10/06/2009 11:26 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
From Space(y) Weather

LUNAR IMPACT VIEWER'S GUIDE: On Friday morning, Oct. 9th, you can watch a pair of spacecraft crash into the Moon with your own eyes. The purposeful impacts are the climax of NASA's LCROSS mission to unearth signs of water in lunar soil. Today's story from Science@NASA tells how and where to look.

FINDING GROUND ZERO: If you plan to watch this Friday's lunar impact through a backyard telescope, start practicing now. Pinpointing Cabeus among so many other craters around the lunar south pole isn't easy. David Evans of Coleshill, UK, found the impact site on Oct. 3rd using his Meade 8-inch telescope:

see picture on website or go here: [link to spaceweather.com]


One way to know you've found the right crater: It'll be the one with an fluffy plume on Friday morning. Mission scientists expect debris from the double-impact of LCROSS and its booster rocket to rise about 7 kilometers over the rim of Cabeus. There will be two plumes, one from the booster rocket (4:30 am PDT) and another from the LCROSS mothership (4:34 am PDT). Each is expected to linger in sunlight for 60 to 90 seconds before falling back into the shadowy depths of Cabeus. The surface brightness of the plumes should be similar to that of surrounding sunlit terrain.

More Lunar Impact Resources:

LCROSS Slideshow -- observing tips for backyard astronomers
Cabeus Pointing Chart -- a detailed chart with waypoints and coordinates
Google's LCROSS Observer's Group -- more 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!

[link to www.spaceweather.com]
the realist
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10/06/2009 11:38 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
The OP's article quotes experts saying you'll need a telescope with a 10-12" aperature to see the dust plume, but it seems from the information in the article, you could get by with alot less than that, maybe binoculars.

The article mentions the dust plume will be 1/9th the apparent width of Jupiter. Several of Jupiters Moons are easily visible in a good set of binoculars. And they are less than 1/9th the apparent width of Jupiter. With my 6" aperature telescope, I can get Jupiter to nearly fill up the eyepiece, 1/9th the size of Jupiter is no problemo.

And with the dust cloud being a magnitude of 6, just at the limit of the unaided human eye, I don't see what the problem is. This will be alot more visible than they are indicating in the article. If you got a pair of 10x50 or bigger binoculars, or even the smallest of telescopes, I'd give it a try.
HTCWiz

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10/06/2009 11:45 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
The mooninites shall have their vengeance!

moon4

moon2
~ America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy. ~
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 11:50 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
here is a picture of the crater being targeted

[link to msnbcmedia4.msn.com]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 683607

This is FOR REAL? really happening?
yall just playing right?
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 11:56 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
Finally we'll find out once and for all whether the moon is made of cheese or not.
Anonymous Coward
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10/06/2009 11:56 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
HOW IN THE HELL IS NASA ALLOWED TO BOMB OUR MOON???

China now is the time to use your space lasers!!!
shapeshifter

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10/06/2009 11:59 PM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
you guys realize there is no bomb right? just a rocket stage being impacted into the moon whereupon measurements will be taken.. we've hit it with a lot bigger stages before.. like from the apollo rockets ;0 nothing to see here.. move along
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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10/07/2009 12:00 AM
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Re: HOW TO WATCH NASA BOMB THE MOON
thanks mods for the pin... this is History in the making and we have the opportunity to witness the insanity... little wonder it is not being streamed live like thier 4th of July fiasco when they nuked the astroid...omg

there was a report on the MSN news today that revealed that this project cost the taxpayers of America another 6-7 million bucks...

I don't remember being asked, giving permission, or even hearing about Congress being asked... my question is, WHO gives them the "right" to do this? We don't OWN the MOON!

there are treaties, that were signed concerning the Moon...decades ago...and that Alfred Webre brought up in one of his radio shows on Exopolotics and this aggressive action breaks all of these treaties we made with other nations... what if they decided to blow the Moon up completely?

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