I am sure by now that everyone has seen or read about the LCROSS impacts that occurred on October 9th.
I watched the event live on NASA TV and watched the live press conference. I also saw the MAGNIFICENT Palomar Observatory photos taken right after impact – I truly believe that if there was an ejecta plume visible the Palomar Observatory images would have shown it. The 200-inch telescope was using its adoptive optics system that cancels out atmospheric seeing effects and just about allows for full resolution.
Data from a myriad of ground and space based instruments is still being reviewed and it will take some time for the final results to be known. I am quite sure that LCROSS will yield data that will tell us whether Cabeus Crater has water in its permanently shadowed region.
Stay tuned as there will be more to this story.
The 60th meeting of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) opened yesterday (12 October 20009) in Daejeon, South Korea. The IAC is sponsored by the International Astronautical Federation which represents aerospace industries from some 70 countries. Learn more about the IAC meeting here and here.
On Friday 9 October 2009 NASA impacted the Moon with the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and its Centaur booster rocket. The idea was to send up a plume of material from the Moon which could then be investigated with the help of spectroscopy (breaking up the light which passed through the debris field) as to the composition of the debris. One of the main things that NASA was hoping to find was evidence of water. Learn more about the LCROSS impact here. See an image of the Moon at the time of the impact from the George Mason University (GMU) observatory here.