Saturday, October 10, 2009

NASA puzzles over 'invisible' moon impact

In the final minutes of its plunge toward the moon, NASA's LCROSS spacecraft spotted the brief infrared flash of a rocket booster hitting the lunar surface just ahead of it – and it even saw heat from the crater formed by the impact. But scientists remain puzzled about why the event did not seem to generate a visible plume of debris as expected.

As hundreds of telescopes and observers watched, the highly publicised NASA mission to search for water on the moon reached its grand finale at 0431 PDT (1131 GMT) with a pair of high-speed crashes into a lunar crater named Cabeus.

During the crucial moments at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, scientists and engineers with LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) peered in silent concentration as successive images of the crater grew larger on their screens.

Source : NewScientist


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