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Last Post 10/9/2009 8:57 AM by  Kris Sigsbee
moon impact
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10/9/2009 6:39 AM

    Lesley R

    Did any of you follow the impact ont he moon today? If this was supposed to be so hard an impact, how come no cloud or anything was seen? Should the Sun have been high enough above the area to illuminate it? thanks

    Tags: LCROSS

    Kris Sigsbee

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    10/9/2009 8:57 AM

    Hi Lesley,

    I am not involved with the LCROSS mission, but I did watch the news coverage of the lunar impact on television this morning. As far as I know, none of the other Solar Week scientists are involved with LCROSS, so we probably don't have any more information about the impact for you than what has been posted on the Internet and shown on television.

    I know a lot of people were expecting to see an gigantic explosion and an enormous cloud of material from the impact when they watched it on television. As I am not involved with the LCROSS mission, I have no idea whether or not this was actually a realistic expectation or not. People watching the coverage on television may not have seen a big plume, but the scientific instruments on board the LCROSS spacecraft may have recorded something that was not visible to the human eye. We will have to give the scientists involved with LCROSS time to study these observations before we know more.

    People watching the news coverage on television may have been disappointed, but this does not mean the mission was a failure. Space exploration is not like what we see on science fiction television shows like "Star Trek" and "Stargate." On these television shows, the scientists making astronomical observations or measurements in space always know their results immediately, without spending a lot of time and effort to analyze the data. After all, they only have a 60 minute time-slot in which to make their scientific discoveries and save the planet. Real life is not like that. It can take months, even years to analyze spacecraft observations. We have to be patient. I'm sure that the scientists working on the LCROSS mission will announce their findings when they have finished analyzing the data, but it could take a while for them to complete their data analysis. While you are waiting to hear the results, you can learn more about the LCROSS mission here:

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