Tuesday, October 06, 2009
As you can see from the latest status report, LCROSS will be impacting the Moon in just three days and 8.5 hours from now. Right now it's 230,000 km from the Moon and has 349,000 km to go. As the excitement builds the number of articles on the probe is growing, and many of these now have instructions on how to watch the impact.
The easiest way to watch the impact is to simply tune in to NASA TV where they will show live coverage of the impact starting an hour before it happens. The second way to watch the impact can be done if you have at least a ten-inch telescope, and if you are interested in space to the extent that you own a telescope of that size then you certainly already know what to do. If not (you acquired the telescope from someone else or just bought it on a whim) then see the article for instructions. Only those located where it will be dark at the time of impact will be able to make use of this, however. Over here in Korea it will be 8:30 pm so certainly dark enough, but given that I have no telescope and live in the centre of one of the largest cities in the world I think I'll just go with NASA TV coverage online.
Even after the LCROSS mission ends, its sister craft (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) will still have barely begun its mission, and it has only just recently adjusted its orbit to one with an altitude of 50 km. During the impact it will be focusing on the impact area.