Saturday, October 10, 2009

LCROSS Impact Video

This video covers 12 minutes around LCROSS impact, 4 minutes prior to 8 minutes after. It doesn't look like much, because even though we had the highest-resolution images on the planet there was no impact plume to be seen.


Daniel Fischer said...

You've certainly experimented with image differencing after/before impact time? Given that you were using a high-end astronomy detector while LCROSS probably carried less advanced sensors, might your eventual limits on dust ejecta actually be better than what they may be able to find out?

Scott Kardel said...

Yes, of course we differenced many images from many pre & post times of the event.

LCROSS had the vantage point of being much, much closer and did catch a minimal flash from the first impact. Spectra from the mission might reveal something, but I don't know what that might yet show.

Marshall said...

These are extraordinarily impressive images technically! (despite not showing a plume, since that's not your fault after all.)

I'm curious how you locked the AO system in this case? Can you run the WFS loop directly off the edge of the moon? That doesn't seem like it ought to really work in a regular Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor. However you got it to work, this is really neat to see. Kudos to Antonin and the rest of the team there.

Jack said...

What are the the current theories on why the plume was so small? I was at the impact party at NASA Ames and we were left wondering "what happened?"

My kids have been speculating, and I'm wondering if there is any further word on why it didn't create a plume as expected.

Scott Kardel said...


We were able to lock the AO system on to a nearby mountain peak.

Jack, I am not sure what the latest thinking is on why the Moon didn't react as expected. Of course one of the reasons in doing this is because you don't really know what will happen. Getting unexpected results usually means you will learn something new.