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Richard Drumm The Astronomy Bum

LCROSS found ice after all!

12 Oct 2009, 17:42 UTC
LCROSS found ice after all!
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All weekend I've been telling people that the mainstream media (MSM) have been missing the best part of the LCROSS lunar impact story. The MSM have reported that it was a dud, a failure. They were SO disappointed that they didn't see any of the expected debris plume. There was a brief flash of sodium light on impact (seen in mid-IR wavelengths by the trailing spacecraft) but no ejecta.But maybe this was not so much a mission failure as a reality check from the Moon itself. The NASA press office was simply following the lead of the scientists, who all expected a pretty ejecta plume that people with telescopes (or a TV set) could see & enjoy. They didn't really overhype the story in their press releases, they were all caught of guard by the unknown conditions on the crater floor. That there was no plume is a heck of a story in itself and the MSM just didn't get it. Fly that Centaur upper stage into the Moon anywhere else and you will get a regolith explosion and a very pretty conical cloud. But whatever LCROSS hit didn't do that. Very interesting!I've been telling anybody who'd listen that the ...

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