October 7, 2009 in City

Spokane astronomers invite public to watch moon impact

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A NASA mission to send a space ship crashing into the moon early Friday while another ship analyzes the plume arising from the collision is going to be watched from Earth by a pair of Spokane astronomers, who are inviting the public to join them.

Joe Bruce and Tracy Shaffer will be setting up four telescopes and computer images of the probe, which is expected to strike the surface of the moon at 4:31 a.m. Pacific time.

They will be in the yard adjacent to the school of Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church, 4102 S. Crestline St. starting at 3:30 a.m.

Viewers can watch a computer screen image of the moon from a heated hallway with windows, Bruce said, but also have a chance to see the debris cloud live through a telescope if it appears as expected.

The mission is designed to confirm whether water is present in the moon’s permanently shadowed terrain.

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