LCROSS Lunar Impact - Negative Observation

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For every few successful observations, there have to be some failures right? I got up at 3:30 AM to set things up and then watch for any evidence of the LCROSS impact in Cabeus Crater at the lunar south pole (scheduled for 4:31 AM Arizona time). I set the 8 inch Dob outside to cool down, got my sketching materials ready and checked out some NASA TV while putting on the jackets, gloves and my balaclava. Cabeus doesn't exactly stand out in a crowd, but with the help of some good finder images it wasn't too hard to find. I had to wince a little when I saw how ridiculously thin the visible shadow of the crater was. And to help things out, a steady breeze was rippling the air like some cheesy intro to a flashback sequence.

Once I saw what I was up against, my confidence dropped pretty low. Still, I sketched the profile of the crater and lunar limb, and watched to see what would happen. Which is to say, pretty much nothing. Sure, rippling lunar features, disintegrating and coalescing before your eyes under Antoniadi III/IV skies can make you imagine something just might be emerging...but nothing ever did. So, here's hoping the mission data and professional observatories picked up some useful info. And hopefully, amateur observers with better conditions & equipment were able to see or image something.

OK, time for just a little more sleep before the real Friday begins.

7 Comments

Pretty much the same here in Hawai'i. No detection, good CCD imagery through the event with nothing to be seen. Doing a more detailed examination of the imagery now, but if it is there it is going to be subtle.

I called Keck 2 control and got the word that they think they got it, but the quote of the phone call was "tough detection".

Because misery loves company, it's been encouraging to see that skilled observers/imagers like yourself were watching a whole lot of nothing too--and that even decked out observatories found it marginal.

Actually it wasn't miserable. I am glad I got up to give it a shot. It gave me a hankering to do some more observing along the lunar limb...it's a place I've tended to avoid.

Hi Jeremy.

report from Hermosillo, Mexico.
Negative too.
attached URL: mi video in YouTube.
greetings

salvador aguirre

From Pearl City Hawaii, visibility was fabulous the night before, but intermittently cloudy at the important moments. I was nonetheless able to catch a good plume through a 12" Dobsonian, though admittedly, it's a bit apocalyptic:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/photo.php?pid=30696030&id=1388139697

Hi Jeremy, just to say thanks for looking, stayed up here in the Netherlands waiting for cloud cover to clear, (optimistically) hoping to catch a glimpse of plume remnants through 8" SCT.. well, best of luck to the observatories and NASA on making sense of such an important piece in the puzzle to get us into space..

I got up at 4 AM and had may little observatory with my 14" Meade LX200 ready to go. I was pushing 220X power and had good condtions. I could detect no plume.
Coy Fullen
Deer Park, Washington (north of Spokane, WA

Thanks for the reports everyone. Especially that impressive view, Andy ;)

Although nothing was detected visually, you never know if something is going to be observable. I think it was worth the effort.

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This page contains a single entry by Jeremy Perez published on October 9, 2009 6:23 AM.

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