Lunar prospector "hard landing" observing opportunity

Jason Hatton (
Thu, 22 Jul 1999 09:47:37 +0200 (MET DST)

Hi Everybody,
		Here's an observing challenge... On the early morning of
the 31st July
the Lunar Prospector spacecraft will be deliberately crashed into the
shadowed portion of a crater at the moons south pole.The aim of this is to
vapourise a small part of the lunar soil so that earth based telescopes can
determine if water is present in the soil of shadowed craters at the lunar

	Although the chances are small that the plume created by the spacecraft
will be visible in amateur telescopes, NASA has provided some observing
information on the web for anyone who wants to try. Full details can be
found at;

	I don't recall the exact time of impact, but it is around 09:30UT. The
best views are likely to be in the mid & western parts of the United
States. It's maybe worth a try observing, since it is not often there is an
opportunity to observe directly a lunar landing, admittedly in this case a
rather hard landing!

Best wishes & clear skies

Jason P Hatton
06200 Nice

43.692N, 7.246E,30M

Jason Hatton
Hopital de l'Archet
Rte St. Antoine de Ginestiere
BP 79, 06202 Nice Cedex 03


email :

 43.667N, 7.223E, Alt 30M