Lunar smackdown!

Contributed by
Sep 3, 2006
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SMART-1 smacked into the Moon last night! as I wrote yesterday, the European probe SMART-1 crash landed (on purpose) onto the lunar surface last night. It made a flash that was visible to large telescopes, including the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, or CFHT:

These are before-and-after images of the area, and you can see pretty easily where the spacecraft hit (the black dots are noise in the detector, and are not real). I haven't seen any numbers yet on how bright the flash was, or what science has been obtained by analyzing it. That might take some time. A good place for updates is the Moon Today website and of course The Planetary Society site.

Image credit: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope / 2006