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Lcross, the next Day…Not everything you can see is visible. October 10, 2009

Posted by jcconwell in Astronomy, moon.
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Visible light that is. For humans that’s from 380nm to 740nm in wavelength. If you’ve been watching the news, you know that the Lcross lunar impacts did not give off a spectacular plume that would be visible to the many amateurs. Heck, not even the Hubble space telescope or Mt. Palomar saw anything in the visible. I take a small consolation, since the EIU observatory was clouded over and I was home drinking a cup of coffee and watching NASA TV.

But sometimes visable is not where the action is, Infrared and ultraviolet are, as you can see below.

The picture below is from The Planetary Society Blog By Emily Lakdawalla

Uncalibrated Diviner thermal maps of the LCROSS impact region Credit: NASA / GSFC / UCLA

Uncalibrated Diviner thermal maps of the LCROSS impact region Credit: NASA / GSFC / UCLA

Pictured above is the preliminary, uncalibrated Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Diviner thermal (infrared) maps. These four channels operate in a band from 12.5nm to 200nm in the infrared.  Look for the small dot just below the center. The impact site pictures were acquired two hours before the impact, and 90 seconds after the impact.The detection is consistent with the notion that the LCROSS impact resulted in significant local heating of the lunar surface.

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