Feeds

SMART-1 smashes into moon mountain

Possibly

The Power of One Infographic

The first grainy images of SMART-1's lunar crash landing have been released by the European Space Agency, and suggest that the probe ended its days on the side of a lunar mountain.

The mosaic (right) is composed of fifteen infrared images taken by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) 3 September 2006. The sequence shows the flash and the dust cloud that followed the SMART-1 impact.

ESA knows roughly where the craft went down, but is trying to refine that using data from as many sources as possible. As project scientist Bernard Foing says, the lunar crash-scene investigation needs "all possible Earth witnesses and observational facts".

Early analysis suggests the probe landed on the slopes of a 1,500m high mountain, not far from the Lake of Excellence plains.

"It seems that some ejecta or debris made it across the mountain. This is good news to search for the ejecta blanket" says Foing. "We might also see the 'firework' expansion of gas and debris that has bounced after impact from the spacecraft."

The cloud of material travelled 80km from the crash site in just over two minutes. Foing says ESA is seeking help from the amateur astronomy community is making observations of the ejecta blanket: "In particular using visible or infrared imagery, or even to look at spectroscopic anomalies at the impact site," he added. ®

You can look at more images from the ground-based observation campaign here.

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.