Thursday, October 8, 2009
LCROSS Moon Smash Viewing Parties Nationwide Listings
Earth’s closest neighbor is holding a secret. In 1999, hints of that secret were revealed in the form of concentrated hydrogen signatures detected in permanently shadowed craters at the lunar poles by NASA’s Lunar Prospector. These readings may be an indication of lunar water and could have far-reaching implications as humans expand exploration past low-Earth orbit. The Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission is seeking a definitive answer.
In April 2006, NASA selected the LCROSS proposal for a low-cost, fast-track companion mission to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The main LCROSS mission objective is to confirm the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater near a lunar polar region.
LCROSS launched with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on June 18, 2009 at 2:32 p.m. PDT. The LCROSS shepherding spacecraft and the Atlas V’s Centaur upper stage rocket executed a fly-by of the moon on June 23, 2009 (LCROSS lunar swingby video stream coverage) and entered into an elongated Earth orbit to position LCROSS for impact on a lunar pole. On final approach, the shepherding spacecraft and Centaur will separate. The Centaur will act as a heavy impactor to create a debris plume that will rise above the lunar surface. Projected impact at the lunar South Pole is currently: Oct 9, 2009 at 4:30 a.m. PDT. Following four minutes behind, the shepherding spacecraft will fly through the debris plume, collecting and relaying data back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface and creating a second debris plume.
The debris plumes are expected to be visible from Earth- and space-based telescopes 10-to-12 inches and larger.
The LCROSS science payload consists of two near-infrared spectrometers, a visible light spectrometer, two mid-infrared cameras, two near-infrared cameras, a visible camera and a visible radiometer. The LCROSS instruments were selected to provide mission scientists with multiple complimentary views of the debris plume created by the Centaur impact.
As the ejecta rises above the target crater’s rim and is exposed to sunlight, any water-ice, hydrocarbons or organics will vaporize and break down into their basic components. These components primarily will be monitored by the visible and infrared spectrometers. The near-infrared and mid-infrared cameras will determine the total amount and distribution of water in the debris plume. The spacecraft’s visible camera will track the impact location and the behavior of the debris plume while the visible radiometer will measure the flash created by the Centaur impact.
NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., is overseeing the development of the LCROSS mission with its spacecraft and integration partner, Northrop Grumman, Redondo Beach, Calif. LCROSS is a fast-paced, low-cost, mission that will leverage some existing NASA systems, commercial-off-the-shelf components, the spacecraft expertise of Northrop Grumman and experience gained during the Lunar Prospector Mission in 1999. Ames is managing the mission, conducting mission operations, and developing the payload instruments, while Northrop Grumman designed and is building the spacecraft for this innovative mission. Ames mission scientists will spearhead the data analysis.
Public viewing parties:
102-D Wynn Drive, Huntsville, AL 35805
Overnight lock-in at the Museum. Evening of Thursday, Oct. 8 with viewing opportunities Friday, Oct. 9 (Impact week is also Fall Break for our local schools). We will have LCROSS programs and activities throughout the evening and show NASA TV live coverage in the Sci-Quest auditorium. Members of the Von Braun Astronomical Society will bring out telescopes for observations. Sci-Quest can accommodate 80 children and 40 adults. LPRP is working with MSFC Academic Affairs to select the students for participation.
Tentative: live feed to MSFC auditorium for employees.
Von Braun Astronomical Society Planetarium, Monte Sano State Park
Monte Sano State Park , Huntsville, AL 35805
October 9th - LCROSS Mission's Lunar Impacts -- Early Friday morning (Gathering at around 5 - 5:30 am), October 9th, VBAS Members and news media only are invited to join us at our observatory facilities located within Monte Sano State Park to view and record the two plumes for the LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observatory and Sensing Satellite) mission's lunar impacts! Watch for additional details to be posted soon.
October 10th - Astronomy Day -- On Saturday, Oct. 10th from 3 pm to mid-night, VBAS will host our annual "Astronomy Day" which will include children activities, planetarium programs, an outdoor concert from 5 to 9 pm that the entire family will enjoy featuring the Maple Hill Band & Moondust Big Band, and a star party from 9 pm to mid-night that any one with a telescope is welcome to attend! During our event, we will be showing the video footage of the lunar impact's plume and will celebrate, share the exciting historical moment with the public. Admission is free for children and students, with a $10 donation for adults. Members wishing to help this year should contact Melissa Snider at 256.684.9036 and those with telescopes who would like to reserve a spot for the star party from 9 to mid-night should contact Eric Johnson at 256.682.2401.
Lewis Center for Educational Research
17500 Mana Road, Apple Valley, CA 92307
Doors open to the public beginning at 4am. The Lewis Center can accommodate ~320 and has a small overflow area as well. NASA Channel will all be on all TVs and computers in Mission Control area. The Lewis Center will also have 65 students in house all night. They will be tracking, from the in house mission control, the spacecraft as it impacts the Moon using a 34-m radio telescope. You can see the Mission Control from their website at: http://gsc.lewiscenter.org/gavrt/mission_control.php
Antelope Valley Astronomy Club
P.O. Box 8545, Lancaster, CA 93539
Antelope Valley - LCROSS Lunar Impact Event Page
The Antelope Valley Astronomy Club is planning a star party for the morning of the impact. The party will be at a private residence in Antelope Acres and some really cool observing equipment will be present.
Lucerne Dry Lake
Lucerne Valley, CA
LCROSS Viewing Party at Lucerne Dry Lake
There will be an 8" Celestron telescope with a low-light video camera going to a projector, so many people will be able to view the event. Camping is allowed on Lucerne Dry Lake, and portable toilets will be available. The event will occur a day before the Rocketry Organization of California (ROC) rocket launch at the lakebed. Directions and camping information can be found on ROC's website at www.ROCstock.org.
NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, California 94035
Ames will be hosting an all-night event that is open to the general public and free; however, no-cost tickets are required for each guest wishing to stay overnight. See site for details and schedule of events.
Chabot Space & Science Center
10000 Skyline Blvd. - Oakland, CA 94619
Chabot - NASA/LCROSS Lunar Impact Event
As NASA’s LCROSS Mission to investigate the presence of water on the Moon comes to a close, get up early and join us at Chabot to view the impact of the spacecraft and the debris plume it is expected to produce through a special live NASA broadcast in our Planetarium, and through the eye of Chabot’s own 36-inch telescope, Nellie. Advanced registration required -- Members FREE / Guests $3 -- Register: (510) 336-7373
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
LCROSS event during the day Oct. 9
For those who aren't early risers, drop by the California Academy of Sciences to attend one of four debriefings during the day. At 10:00 a.m., noon, 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m., Academy educators will highlight original footage of the impact as well as up-to-the-minute results as the day progresses. Visit the "Science in Action" exhibit on the first floor for updates. Free with Academy admission.
The Fremont Peak Observatory
PO Box 1376, San Juan Bautista, California 95045
LCROSS Lunar Impact
The observatory will open to the public starting around 3:00 a.m. and continue until about 5:00 a.m. The telescope is a large 30" f/4.8 modified Newtonian style telescope. We will be attaching a sensitive video camera and recording the event. The recorder will be connected to the projector in the classroom adjacent to the observing room. This way, we can accommodate about 50 or more people with the ability to see the event live. If more interest picks up, we might move the projector screen outside to the amphitheater -- that configuration can accommodate over 100 people. Other members will have smaller telescopes set up around the observatory also. Campsites are available on first come first serve basis. State Parks requires RSVP's. See www.fpoa.netfor details.
Tierra Del Sol Remote Observation Facility
Tierra de Luna Rd, Tierra del Sol, CA 91905
The San Diego Astronomy Association will host a special star party event at the Tierra Del Sol remote observation facility 90 minutes east of San Diego. Members of the public who wish to attend should call 858-877-3103 or send an email request for a ticket to firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP, as the event will be limited to a total of 300 attendees. Overnight camping is available and full details about how to reach the Tierra Del Sol site, and what to bring with you to the event will be emailed to those who RSVP in advance of the event. You must RSVP to attend.
Regent Drive, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80301
Fiske Planetarium and Sommers-Bausch Observatory will hold a Lunar Bagel Breakfast. The observatory has 16", 18" and a 24" telescope that will be used for the general public to view the impact.
Star Light--Star Bright Observatory
2015 Wickes Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80919
Will have a 10" Mac-Newtonian telescope and video camera system to display the impact to students, teachers, and members of the public who plan to come out early in the morning on the 9th of Oct., weather permitting.
Discovery Museum and Planetarium
4450 Park Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06604
Discovery Museum and Planetarium will be hosting an LCROSS breakfast to view the impact event. Light breakfast will be served, planetarium show, short lecture and live impact downlink followed by discussion and celebratory toast.
District of Columbia (DC)
555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20001
Will present the NASA TV live coverage, will open up the museum free at 6:30 a.m. EDT.
NASA Kennedy Space Center
KSC guest operations is considering options to open one of their theaters at the Visitor’s Complex and dedicate it for the week of impact to show various LCROSS launch videos and replays of press conferences. This would be available for viewing by the general public during their visits.
The State has declared that the week of October 2-9 is Hawai’ian Aerospace Week.
Great University of Hawaii-owned UH-88 telescope on Mauna Kea is going to be made available for outreach. Details in the works: Andy Chaikin will be at the telescope, amateur involvement with the gathering of the images. John Herrington and Todd May will also be there.
'Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai'i
600 `Imiloa Place, Hilo, HI 96720
Free NASA LCROSS Mission Talk and Presentation.— Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 10:00 AM to Noon
Windward Community College, 45-720 Keaahala Rd, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744
Observatory open and free to the public from 10:00 p.m. Oct 8 through 2:00 a.m. Oct 9.
Maui Astronomy Club
Institute for Astronomy, 34 Ohia Ku Street, Pukalani HI 96768
Open to the public from 11:30 pm to 2:30am. Astronomers are advised to arrive early to set up telescopes, video and CCD cameras. Attendees will be instructed and educated as to timing and nature of event. We will be watching the NASA TV live feed on line as well. Hot chocolate will be served.
College of Southern Idaho’s Herrett Center for Arts and Science museum
315 Falls Ave, Twin Falls, ID 83301-3367
'Moon Bomb' breakfast at the Herrett Center
The Center is planning a public event to view the LCROSS impact. The Center has a public observatory with a 24” f/8 research-grade telescope, and a 144-seat planetarium theater with multiple video projectors. Event includes sky gazing, viewing the impact in the auditorium and a breakfast. The Herrett Telescope will be focused on the point of impact by 4:30 a.m. when the doors open.
The Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605
The Adler Planetarium will show the planned impact of NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) live on the morning of October 9, 2009 in the Definiti Theater. The event will begin at 6:00 a.m., alongside a live feed from the Adler's own 20-inch Doane Observatory telescope (weather permitting) as we attempt to see the impact plume through our telescope, as well. This event is FREE, but advance registration is STRONGLY encouraged. Registration is ONLINE ONLY. If space is available on October 9, seating will be first come, first served, based on the capacity of the theater, though there is no guarantee that day-of space will be offered. Doors open at 5:50 a.m.; the event ends at 7:00 a.m.
NIU Geology Department
Northern Illinois University, Davis Hall Room 308, Normal & Locust Rds., DeKalb, IL 60115
The Northern Illinois University Geology Department, hosted by Sigma Gamma Epsilon (Geologic Honor Society) will be hosting a NASA TV viewing party for the LCROSS impact on October 9th. The viewing will be from 6:00am until whenever there is nothing left to see, and the event will be catered by a local restaurant. For more information on attending the event (and having hot food!) please email email@example.com for more information.
Northern Illinois University, Normal & Locust Rds., DeKalb, IL 60115
The NIU Davis Observatory will be hosting an event from 5:00am—7:00am on October 9 to attempt to view the dust plume resulting from the impact. We expect this to also be an excellent time to observe other objects, including Mars and Venus. For more information or for directions to the observatory, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call 753-1305 or go to www.niu.edu/physics/observatory.
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd, Bowling Green, KY, 42101
The WKU Physics and Astronomy Department, Hardin Planetarium and the Hilltoppers Astronomy Club will host a Star Party starting at 5:00 am Friday October 9th. There will be bagels and juice, talks by professional astronomers and more. Come and be a part of this unique event and watch NASA's video broadcast of the LCROSS spacecraft impacting the Moon live from the Hardin Planetarium. Adults and children welcome. Free. Please contact Dr Rachel Campbell if you would like more information.
Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium
University of Louisville, 108 W Brandeis Ave, Louisville, KY 40292
LCROSS Public Viewing Event
The free, public event starts at 7 a.m. EDT (the crash is scheduled for 7:30 a.m.) and will feature a live broadcast of the collision, behind the scenes videos and a question and answer session with planetarium director Rachel Connolly. Light refreshments, including “moon rocks” (donut holes), will be served. Those planning to attend the event should check to make sure details of the mission have not changed by calling the planetarium at 502-852-6664.
Morehead University Space Center
4133 Us Highway 60, Morehead, KY 40351
LCROSS Public Viewing Event
Join the Faculty and Staff of the Morehead State University Space Science Center Friday October 9th at 6:30 am CDT to witness the culmination of the LCROSS mission, part of NASA’s revived robotic exploration of the Moon. Live coverage from NASA TV will be shown on the Star Theater dome as the LCROSS satellite observes the impact of its Centaur upper stage into a crater permanently shadowed near the moon’s South Pole at approximately 7:30 a.m. CDT, followed four minutes later by the impact of the LCROSS vehicle itself.
Highland Road Park Observatory
13800 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
Public event from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 9. For more information, contact email@example.com
Boston Museum of Science
61 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114
Watch a NASA video broadcast of the experiment, and join Museum staff and guest scientists in a discussion on its implications for future human exploration of the Moon. Our guests include Nick Gross, PhD, Boston University Astronomy Department; and Tony Case, graduate student from Boston University Center for Space Physics. Starts at 9:00 a.m. EDT, with the re-broadcast of the LCROSS impacts at 10:00 a.m. EDT.
Jackson Middle School Observatory
6000 109th Avenue North, Champlin, Minnesota 55316
Public event from 5:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 9. Please check the Web site to make sure the session is still on as planned (due to weather conditions) or call 763-506-5372 to listen to the recorded message.
Willmar Senior High
2701 30th St. NE, Willmar, MN 56201
Willmar Senior High's Earth Space Science class will have 2 telescopes set up 1 - 8" Celestron Scmidt-Cass with digital camera and a 10" Orion Skyquest light bucket at 6:00 a.m. for the 6:30 a.m. EDT impact.
Rainwater Observatory & Planetarium
1 Fine Place, French Camp, MS 39745
Talk and public observing event the night of Oct. 8. Our telescopes will be observing and imaging the event on Friday morning. We will have an open house on Saturday afternoon and another talk Saturday evening at 7pm followed by observing.
Montana State University - Northern
300 West 11th Street, Havre, MT 59501
Montana State University - Northern is hosting an observation of the LCROSS impact ejecta plume Oct. 9th, starting at 4:30 am CDT on the campus at the Student Union Building (Sled Hill). We will be setting up several large telescopes and pray for good seeing. Contact info: Professor Trygve "Spike" Magelssen firstname.lastname@example.org; 406-265-4123, and Dr. Virgil Hawkinson email@example.com. We'll have the hot chocolate and coffee on!
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89557-0208
The University of Nevada, Reno will be offering public viewing in the parking lot south of the campus baseball field from 4:00 AM to Dawn on October 9th 2009. The University will have its 11" Meade, equipped with a CCD camera to try to get an image of the impact, and Tahoe Star Tours will have an 11" CPC for visual observation, with an additional 8" telescope for general viewing.
New York (NY)
Inwood Astronomy Project
Inwood Hill Park, W 207 Street and Seaman Ave, New York City, NY
Early morning stargazing then breakfast and watch the Impact on NASA TV.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th St, Troy, NY 12180
Event starts at 6:30 a.m. EDT. We will attempt imaging the event with the Hirsch Observatory's 16" telescope and live video feeds from NASA and major observatories will be presented. Event is weather permitting. In the event of clouds the event will be canceled. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The observatory phone number is 518-276-6090.
North Carolina (NC)
High Point, NC
Astronomy Lecture featuring LCROSS
(more info forthcoming)
Cleveland Museum of Natural History (in partnership with NASA Glenn)
1 Wade Oval Drive University Circle Cleveland OH 44106-1767
CMNH has a planetarium and a 10.5” refractor telescope. Because sunrise is at 7:32 a.m., they are not optimistic in being able to see much, but they are going to try. They will put a TV camera feed to a public viewing area (as well as to a video recorder) and allow visitors to walk through the observatory. Media will also be invited to the event. NASA TV will be broadcast in the planetarium and perhaps an auditorium. Glenn will provide an LPRP banner it has been in storage since the Oshkosh air show, a model of the Centaur rocket, a pop up exhibit on Centaur history, and possibly a “speaker” to answer questions from a NASA perspective.
12882 Diagonal Road, Elyria, Ohio 44050
We will open the gates at 5:30 a.m. We will have live NASA Broadcast feeds, canned video, and a camera attached to a C-14 telescope, hoping to capture the plumes as they occur. Other telescopes will be setup so our guests can view the Moon before and after the LCROSS events occur, weather permitting.
ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum in Ashland
1500 E. Main St., Ashland, OR 97520
The ScienceWorks preview of the impact, illustrated with NASA mission video and new lunar images, will be held October 8th, 7:00-8:00 p.m. in the ScienceWorks auditorium. Admission for the event is free.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) will offer space exploration enthusiasts the opportunity to watch the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) crash-land on the Moon Friday, October 9. The LCROSS will crash into the Moon in order to gather data from the 6-mile-high impact cloud it will create. OMSI will be showing the impact in the auditorium live via satellite on NASA TV beginning at 3:30 a.m., with the impact scheduled at 4:30 a.m. PDT. Admission for the televised impact is free.
Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory
57245 River Rd, Sunriver, OR 97707
The Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory will be open for viewing to watch the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) crash-land on the Moon Friday, October 9. The observatory will have up to 10 telescopes viewing the event. We will also be showing the impact on our big screen TV via satellite on NASA TV. Doors will open beginning at 4 a.m., with the impact scheduled at 4:30 a.m. PDT. Admission for the event is free, donations gladly accepted.
South Carolina (SC)
The Citadel, Charleston, SC 29409
Reveille on the Moon
Friday, October 9th: 7:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. A live view of LCROSS’s impact and resulting regolith plume will be shown using streaming data from the LCROSS spacecraft via NASA. Also a live Earth bound view will be projected from the large telescope at the MMT Observatory in Arizona.
El Paso Community College
Valle Verde Campus, 919 Hunter, El Paso, TX 79915
The college will open its dome at 4:30 a.m. CDT to the public to watch the LCROSS impact. The dome is in front of the North Loop entrance of the Valley Verde campus.
Administaff Observatory - Humble ISD
2505 S. Houston Ave, Humble, TX 77396
The Administaff Observatory will be recording and projecting the event as seen on their 20-inch Planewave CDK telescope and viewing it with our eyes on the 16-inch Meade LX-200 telescope. Aaron Clevenson - email@example.com, Observatory Director, Adminstaff Observatory
Nova Hill Observatory
San Angelo, Texas
The San Angelo Astronomy Association will have an Impact Party on Friday morning, Oct. 9. Impact is 6:30 a.m. CDT. There will be 20" and 30" Dobsonians aimed at the moon, as well as two 12' scopes.
1300 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, Texas
The Scobee Planetarium will be taking live video feeds through their CCD video cameras and displaying them on various screens at the observatory.
110 South 400 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
On Saturday, October 10 from 3:30-4:30pm, the Hansen Dome Theatre at the Clark Planetarium will present its original fulldome digital mini-show “Flight to the Moon: LRO and LCROSS” followed by a live-narrated presentation by Programs Manager Mike Murray. The presentation will include images, video and other feedback about the impact of the Centaur rocket booster and LCROSS in the crater Cabeus-A near the lunar south pole.
Central Washington University Astronomy Club
400 E University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926
This event will be hosted by the CWU astronomy club and physics department in Lind Hall on the southeast corner of the CWU campus. (See the campus map for details.) Doors open to the public at 3:30 am PDT. NASA channel will be showing the event in room 204. We'll be tracking the collision live with our 12-inch telescope on the roof of Lind Hall (weather permitting). There will be various smaller telescopes available for general sky observing, as well. For more information, contact Bruce Palmquist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church
4102 S. Crestline, Spokane, WA 99203
We will have 4 telescopes set up for the event; two 8 inch schmidt cassigrains, a 12 inch dobsonian and a 16 inch dobsonian. One of the 8 inch scopes will be hooked to a camera and a projector. Viewing will begin approximately one hour before impact.
W.M. Keck Observatory
Pacific Lutheran University, 10th Ave S and 124th St S Tacoma, WA
LCROSS Breakfast Bash
The Tacoma Astronomical Society will be hosting an LCROSS Breakfast Bash at the PLU Observatory from 3:45 am PDT to 30 minutes post impact. We will stream NASA LCROSS footage as well as our own images from the 16" W.M. Keck Observatory.
Posted by Steve Douglass at 8:17 AM