KAGUYA (SELENE) Impact

Tom reports (and so does Amir) that JAXA's KAGUYA (SELENE) spacecraft is planned to impact the Moon on June 10th at 18:30 GMT.

KAGUYA was launched in September 2007. Since then it has been mapping the Moon and sending back glorious HD video of Earthrise. It has exceeded its nominal mission and has been in an extended operational phase since February 2009. As the JAXA website says, the impact will "conclude its scientific mission to the Moon". Hopefully they'll be able to get some science out of those last seconds too.

Assuming that the time of impact doesn't change (it might), it looks as though KAGUYA will hit quite far south and on the dark side of the terminator. The final moments won't be visible in Europe, Africa or much of the Americas because we're on the wrong side of the planet at the time. If you live anywhere from India eastwards to Hawaii, however, you should get to see it. Hopefully Ian will get some pictures for the rest of us to see.

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Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Tuesday 26th May 2009 (22:35 BST) | Permalink
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