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LCROSS spotted Centaur impact
Posted: Sat, Oct 17, 2009, 11:33 AM ET (1533 GMT)
LCROSS image of Centaur plume (NASA) Officials with NASA's LCROSS mission said Friday that the spacecraft did detect the impact of its Centaur upper stage with the Moon and observe its plume before hitting the Moon itself. Images released by NASA on Friday showed a faint plume kicked up by the Centaur upper stage when it impacted in the Moon's Cabeus crater a few minutes ahead of LCROSS. The plume brightness is at the low end of predictions, scientists said, which may provide clues about the composition of the region struck by the Centaur. NASA had hopes that the impacts would generate a large plume that would easily be observed by groundbased telescopes, but the October 9 impacts failed to match expectations.
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