LCROSS: It all comes down to tonight …

After being involved in the LCROSS project and preparation for the ground based observations from the MMT over the last 18 months it has all come down to tonight. We have one shot at getting these observations so the nerves are running a little high in the control room!

In the last 10 minutes we have had confirmation from NASA that the centaur and payload (ie. the two halves of the rocket – the centaur will crash into the moon first with the payload carrying the instruments crashing in 4 minutes later) have separated successfully.

The weather has completely cleared up and is beautiful. Now we have around 7 hours to do final checks of the instruments we are using to observe the impact, and take all the calibration data that we need.

Please remember to come look at us work and see what we can see! NASA is also streaming live here.

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2 Comments »

  1. Will said

    The control room looks more lively than the telescope feed! What are we seeing there and what’s the red + about?

    Thanks for putting this online! Wish there were public events in Arizona tonight, it’s not the same sitting inside on a computer. Hoping there’s enough online media to compensate.

  2. mmto said

    Hi Will,

    The telescope feed will start getting more ‘exciting’ when we point to the moon. Currently we are taking calibration frames on standard stars. Not as exciting to look at but vitally important for us to get the science results we need.

    The red cross in the ‘All Sky Camera’ shows to exactly where the telescope is pointing.

    Cheers, MMT

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