[Offtopic] Japanese Spacecraft Set to Hit the Moon

Roland Gesthuizen rgesthuizen at gmail.com
Wed Jun 10 22:50:22 EST 2009

If you are reading this on Thursday morning, the collision has already
happened and you can probably view the pictures (if any).


At least my WA friends will not have to stay up as late as I must in
Melbourne to glimpse of the Japanese Spacecraft that is predicted to impact
on the lunar surface. I will be poking my head outside with a telescope and
battle the clouds and cold to spot the lunar impact on the top LHS (turning
their diagram upside down for the southern hemisphere) From my copy of the
open source software Stellarium, the Moon will be to the NE and about 80
degrees high (just look up .. no need to use the sofware like I did!)

This makes the impact time for Melbourne: Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 4:30:00
AM or Perth Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 2:30:00 AM

As my wife points out, the last time she looked at space junk in WA, it was
Skylab with no space repellent to keep the debris away. Dont expect any
debris clouds spiraling back or blinding flash... just a vague chance of
spotting something through binoculars or largish telescope. We lost ours
with the Gippsland bush fires that ran through our school camp back in
February so I am relying on one that a friend loaned me. Fingers crossed ..

Kaguya is a big spaceship. It masses 2,900 kg and will hit the Moon at an
oblique angle traveling approximately 6,000 km/hr. Whether it tumbles and
bounces along the lunar surface or runs headlong into some towering crater
wall, no one can say. Clues to the end of Kaguya will come on June 10th in
the form of an explosive flash (or lack thereof) and high-res images of the
crash site taken by future lunar orbiters.

If nothing happens, just wave your fist at the moon and get back to writing

Regards Roland

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: SpaceWeather.com <swlist at spaceweather.com>
Date: 2009/6/10
Subject: Japanese Spacecraft Set to Hit the Moon
To: "SpaceWeather.com" <swlist at spaceweather.com>

Space Weather News for June 10, 2009

IMPACT ALERT: Japan's Kaguya will crash into the Moon on Wednesday, June
10th, around 1830 UT. The timing favors observers in Asia and Australia, who
might be able to see a flash of light or a plume of debris rising from the
Moon's southeastern limb.  The spacecraft masses 2,600 kg and it will slam
into the lunar surface at 6,000 km/hr.  No one knows, however, how bright
the flash might be or whether it will be visible even through large
telescopes.  Images of the crash, if any are captured, will be posted on
http://spaceweather.com .

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Roland Gesthuizen - ICT Coordinator - Westall Secondary College

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change
the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Mead
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