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SMART-1 impacts Moon 3 September 2006 At 07:42:22 CEST (05:42:22 UT) today, the SMART-1 spacecraft impacted the Moon's surface as planned, ending ESA's first solar-powered mission to another celestial body and Europe's first mission to the Moon. ESA estimates that impact occurred at 46.2º West, 34.4º South.
The camera will have an average resolution of 80 m/pixel, and 30 m/pixel near a 300 km the perilune....This will allow the identification of shadowed or double-shadowed areas, the search for potential 'water ice traps' or 'cold traps'. Also, SMART-1 will map potential sites of 'eternal light' and 'eternal shadow' or sites relevant for future lunar exploration (lunar bases, power supplies)....The AMIE camera will take high-resolution images to study the illumination properties of the lunar south polar region during the 6 month lunar science phase. AMIE will be able to map the interior of dark craters, taking targeted exposures deeper than those from the Clementine instruments.
ESA Newshttp://www.esa.int7 September 2006SMART-1 impact flash and debris: crash scene investigationTiming, location, detection of a flash and of ejected material, and afirework generated by the lunar impact of ESA's SMART-1, are the latestresults gathered thanks to the ground observation campaign of thishistorical event."The successful capture of the SMART-1 impact from Earth raised asubstantial interest in the amateur and professional astronomical community.They started to reanalyse the available data, to repeat observations of theimpact site and to share the results worldwide as a family", says PascaleEhrenfreund, coordinator of the SMART-1 impact ground observation campaign.Where did SMART-1 impact the Moon? "From the various observations and models, we try to reconstruct the 'movie'of what happened to the spacecraft and to the Moon surface," says ESASMART-1 Project scientist Bernard Foing. "For this lunar 'Crash SceneInvestigation', we need all possible Earth witnesses and observationalfacts."The actual SMART-1 impact took place on 3 September 2006 in the course ofthe spacecrafts 2890th orbit around the Moon. SMART-1 sent its last signalsto Earth at 07:42:21:759 CEST (05:42:21:759 UT), and the JIVE radiotelescope from Hobart, Tasmania, measured a loss of signal a few momentslater, at 07:42:22.394 CEST (05:42:22.394 UT).These times are remarkably in agreement with the last SMART-1 flightdynamics predictions of 3 September at 07:42:20 CEST (05:42:20 UT), in thelocation at 46.20 deg West longitude and 34.4 deg South latitude.This is also in agreement with the coordinates newly derived from theposition of the infrared impact flash observed by the Canada-France-Hawaiitelescope (CFHT).Extensive data processing is now going on to specify the topography of theimpact site.From a preliminary analysis of the topographic stereo data available andearlier maps built with SMART-1 data, the satellite should have hit the Moonin the ascending slope of a mountain about 1.5 kilometres high, above theLake of Excellence plain.What happened? Dust after the flash To determine what part of the flash comes from the lunar rock heated atimpact or from the volatile substances released by the probe, it isimportant to obtain measurements in several optical and infraredwavelengths, in addition to the CFHT observations (2.12 microns).From a detailed analysis of the CFHT infrared movie of the variations afterthe flash, a cloud of ejected material or debris travelling some 80kilometres in about 130 seconds has been detected by observer ChristianVeillet, Principal Investigator for the SMART-1 impact observations at CFHT."It seems that some ejecta or debris made it across the mountain. This isgood news to search for the ejecta blanket" says Foing." We might also seethe 'firework' expansion of gas and debris that has bounced after impactfrom the spacecraft."Some SMART-1 campaign amateurs report that they may have observed theoptical flash in their own data, and a possible impact afterglow. "We callfor observers to search for the crater and ejecta blankets from SMART-1, inparticular using visible or infrared imagery, or even to look atspectroscopic anomalies at the impact site," added Foing. "We also call allobservers to send us their reports, thanking them for engaging in theSMART-1 adventure".Note to editors The five radio telescopes involved in the SMART-1 observations andcoordinated by the Joint Institute for VLBI (Very Long BaselineInterferometry) in Europe (JIVE), are: the Medicina (INAF) 32- metre antennain Italy, the Fortaleza (ROEN) 14-metre antenna in Brazil, theGerman-Chilean TIGO (BKG) 6-metre antenna in Chile, the Mount PleasantObservatory of the University of Tasmania (Australia) and the AustraliaTelescope Compact Array (CSIRO).The SMART-1 impact observation campaign involved a core of participatingtelescopes, including: the South African Large Telescope (SALT), the CalarAlto observatory in Andalucia, Spain, the ESA Optical Ground Station (OGS)at Tenerife, Spain, the TNG telescope in La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain,the CEA Cariri observatory in Brazil, the Argentina National Telescope, theFlorida Tech Robotic telescopes at Melbourne FL and Kitt Peak, MSFC lunarmeteor robotic telescopes, Houston 1m, Big Bear Solar Observatory, MDMtelescopes at Kitt Peak, NASA IRTF, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, theJapanese Subaru Auxiliary telescopes on Hawaii, the ODIN space observatory.We acknowledge also support from Nottingham University, and the USGS.Reports on data gathered by other observatories that joined the campaignwill follow on this site.For more information: Bernard H. Foing, ESA SMART-1 Project ScientistEmail: bernard.foing @ esa.intPascale Ehrenfreund, SMART-1 ground-based impact campaign coordinator,Leiden University, The NetherlandsEmail: pascale @ strw.leidenuniv.nl[NOTE: Images supporting this release are available athttp://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMWX03VRRE_index_1.html ]More about ...* Looking at the Moon http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/SMART-1/index.htmlRelated news* SMART-1 swan song: valuable data until final moments http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMC378ZMRE_index_0.html* ESA's Moon mission ends successfully http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMBY5BVLRE_index_0.html* Impact landing ends SMART-1 mission to the Moon http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM7A76LARE_index_0.html* SMART-1 star tracker views the Moon in earthshine http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/SMART-1/SEMMK6BVLRE_0.html* Intense final hours for SMART-1 http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMV386LARE_index_0.html* Amateur observers prepare to watch SMART-1 impact http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMME86LARE_index_0.html* SMART-1 maps its own impact site http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/SMART-1/SEM1946LARE_0.html* Ion engine gets SMART-1 to the Moon http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/SMART-1/SEMLZ36LARE_0.htmlSMART-1 impact FAQ* SMART-1 Impact Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/SMART-1/SEMWSW5LARE_0.htmlRelated links* Space-X http://www.space-x.ch/* Advanced Moon micro-Imager Experiment (AMIE) http://www.space-x.ch/Amie.htm* Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (JIVE) http://www.jive.nl/* Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu/