Man, I just love crashes and explosions. And NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite is scheduled toÂ crash its Centaur upper-stage rocketÂ into the lunar surface at 7:31 a.m. EST tomorrow morning. Four minutes later, the LCROSS itself will follow, diving through the debris plume caused by the first crash, collecting and relaying data back to Earth before crashing into the Cabeus crater near the moon’s south pole. The idea is to find the presence of water in the moon’s soil.
The Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance OrbiterÂ are in position toÂ watch, and photograph, the collisions. And hundreds of telescopes on Earth also will be focused on the two plumes.
NASA is encouraging amateur astronomers to join the watch party. If you don’t have a telescope, or you live in areas where daylight will obscure the viewing, NASA TV will broadcast the crashes live. Coverage begins at 6:15 a.m. EST Friday.
How manyÂ amateur astronomers in the house? Will you be watching? Or is that cutting into your beauty sleep?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.