Lunar Impact!
Friday Morning, Oct 9, 2009 at 7:30am EDT

The photo below shows the Moon exactly the way it will appear on the morning of Friday, Oct 9, 2009 at 7:30am EDT from anywhere in NE Ohio.  This is a highly-magnified view as you would see in a fairly large telescope with a medium to high-power eyepiece of short focal length.  NASA recommends using a telescope with at least 10" of aperture, but any telescope has a chance of catching a glimpse of this impact.  Historically, NASA has under-estimated the visibility of such events - the impacts of Comet Shoemaker-Levy on Jupiter in July of 1994 and the visibility of the plume from the Deep Impact mission.  It never hurts to try!

The 71% illuminated waning gibbous Moon will be 62 high in the southwest.  With the Sun rising at 7:28am, there's a slight chance we will be able to see the ~5 arcsecond plume following the impact of the LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite) when it smashes into the crater, Cabeus, near the south pole of the Moon with an impact velocity of 5592 miles/hr (2500 meters/sec).  First to impact will be the Centaur upper stage of its Atlas V carrier rocket, followed four minutes later by the LCROSS spacecraft itself.  Let's hope for clear skies!  If the weather doesn't cooperate with us, we can watch it live on NASA TV by clicking HERE on Friday morning starting at 6:15am EDT.

Image of the Moon, below, is an UP-DOWN Inverted image representation.
If this image does NOT match the view in your equipment, select from optional views below

Click HERE for NAKED EYE Correct-image - non-reversed and non-inverted.
Click HERE for LEFT-RIGHT reversed image common to refractors used with a diagonal.
Click HERE for LEFT-RIGHT reversed and UP-DOWN inverted image common to refractors used withOUT a diagonal mirror.

The Moon as it will appear from Stow, Ohio on 10/09/2009 at 7:30am EDT.
It will be 71% illuminated waning gibbous and be 62 high in the southwest for easy viewing.

With the Sun rising at 7:28am, there's a chance we will be able to see the ~5 arc-second plume following the impact.

 

Click HERE for NASA article on Amateur Observations and Impact Timing.
 
Click HERE for NASA article on the LCROSS Mission Overview.

Click HERE for NASA article on observing this event.

Click HERE for late-breaking news of this event.

Click HERE for LCROSS Viewer's Guide.

Click HERE for NASA TV live coverage
Beginning 10/9/2009 at 6:15am EDT.

 

 

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