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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.
Un saluto un poco malinconico a SMART-1.
Ora che la missione può certamente dirsi terminata, non vedo l’ora che l’ESA si decida a pubblicare in modo decente e completo qualche risultato della missione.
Basta dare un’occhiata alle caratteristiche del suo sistema fotografico ed agli obiettivi della missione per farsi venire l’acquilina in bocca:
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.
Azz… deve aver dato una bella botta!
Nella stitichezza di immagini dell’ESA, eccovi un sito alternativo
Grazie Marco per aver segnalato questo sito con interessanti immagini dell’impatto di SMART-1!! Certo che ESA continua a brillare per l’assenza di comunicazione al pubblico… vedi anche Venus Express e Mars Express…
Le info sull’impatto rilasciate dall’ESA:
ESA News http://www.esa.int
7 September 2006
SMART-1 impact flash and debris: crash scene investigation
Timing, location, detection of a flash and of ejected material, and a
firework generated by the lunar impact of ESA’s SMART-1, are the latest
results gathered thanks to the ground observation campaign of this
“The successful capture of the SMART-1 impact from Earth raised a
substantial interest in the amateur and professional astronomical community.
They started to reanalyse the available data, to repeat observations of the
impact site and to share the results worldwide as a family”, says Pascale
Ehrenfreund, 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 ESA
SMART-1 Project scientist Bernard Foing. “For this lunar ‘Crash Scene
Investigation’, we need all possible Earth witnesses and observational
The actual SMART-1 impact took place on 3 September 2006 in the course of
the spacecrafts 2890th orbit around the Moon. SMART-1 sent its last signals
to Earth at 07:42:21:759 CEST (05:42:21:759 UT), and the JIVE radio
telescope from Hobart, Tasmania, measured a loss of signal a few moments
later, at 07:42:22.394 CEST (05:42:22.394 UT).
These times are remarkably in agreement with the last SMART-1 flight
dynamics predictions of 3 September at 07:42:20 CEST (05:42:20 UT), in the
location at 46.20 deg West longitude and 34.4 deg South latitude.
This is also in agreement with the coordinates newly derived from the
position of the infrared impact flash observed by the Canada-France-Hawaii
Extensive data processing is now going on to specify the topography of the
From a preliminary analysis of the topographic stereo data available and
earlier maps built with SMART-1 data, the satellite should have hit the Moon
in the ascending slope of a mountain about 1.5 kilometres high, above the
Lake of Excellence plain.
What happened? Dust after the flash
To determine what part of the flash comes from the lunar rock heated at
impact or from the volatile substances released by the probe, it is
important to obtain measurements in several optical and infrared
wavelengths, in addition to the CFHT observations (2.12 microns).
From a detailed analysis of the CFHT infrared movie of the variations after
the flash, a cloud of ejected material or debris travelling some 80
kilometres in about 130 seconds has been detected by observer Christian
Veillet, Principal Investigator for the SMART-1 impact observations at CFHT.
“It seems that some ejecta or debris made it across the mountain. This is
good news to search for the ejecta blanket” says Foing." We might also see
the ‘firework’ expansion of gas and debris that has bounced after impact
from the spacecraft."
Some SMART-1 campaign amateurs report that they may have observed the
optical flash in their own data, and a possible impact afterglow. “We call
for observers to search for the crater and ejecta blankets from SMART-1, in
particular using visible or infrared imagery, or even to look at
spectroscopic anomalies at the impact site,” added Foing. “We also call all
observers to send us their reports, thanking them for engaging in the
Note to editors
The five radio telescopes involved in the SMART-1 observations and
coordinated by the Joint Institute for VLBI (Very Long Baseline
Interferometry) in Europe (JIVE), are: the Medicina (INAF) 32- metre antenna
in Italy, the Fortaleza (ROEN) 14-metre antenna in Brazil, the
German-Chilean TIGO (BKG) 6-metre antenna in Chile, the Mount Pleasant
Observatory of the University of Tasmania (Australia) and the Australia
Telescope Compact Array (CSIRO).
The SMART-1 impact observation campaign involved a core of participating
telescopes, including: the South African Large Telescope (SALT), the Calar
Alto 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, the
Florida Tech Robotic telescopes at Melbourne FL and Kitt Peak, MSFC lunar
meteor robotic telescopes, Houston 1m, Big Bear Solar Observatory, MDM
telescopes at Kitt Peak, NASA IRTF, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the
Japanese 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 campaign
will follow on this site.
For more information:
Bernard H. Foing, ESA SMART-1 Project Scientist
Email: bernard.foing @ esa.int
Pascale Ehrenfreund, SMART-1 ground-based impact campaign coordinator,
Leiden University, The Netherlands
Email: pascale @ strw.leidenuniv.nl
[NOTE: Images supporting this release are available at
More about …
- Looking at the Moon
- SMART-1 swan song: valuable data until final moments
- ESA’s Moon mission ends successfully
- Impact landing ends SMART-1 mission to the Moon
- SMART-1 star tracker views the Moon in earthshine
- Intense final hours for SMART-1
- Amateur observers prepare to watch SMART-1 impact
- SMART-1 maps its own impact site
- Ion engine gets SMART-1 to the Moon
SMART-1 impact FAQ
- SMART-1 Impact Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)