Kaguya's final moments

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
June 19 2009 11:15 AM

Kaguya's final moments

The Japanese Space Agency JAXA has released images taken from the lunar probe Kaguya's final moments. Here's one of a crater in a hillside taken minutes before the spacecraft slammed into the Moon:

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

Kaguya’s final images

Advertisement

There are seven images released, linked from this page (translated into English using Google). The last image is mostly black with just the tops of the hills lit by sunlight; Kaguya's impact point was on the near side of the Moon in an area where the Sun had just set. You can see all the long shadows in the images!

I still haven't heard much news about the impact, but it may take some time before all the data are processed and studied. In the meantime, LRO is on its way to the Moon, and will continue the task of mapping our satellite. LRO's mission is to pave the way for future exploration of the Moon, leading up to another giant leap for mankind.

I wonder if, someday, people will take tours of all these impact sites, the way people today visit Plymouth Rock? I like to think so.

Tip o' the Whipple Shield to Emily Lakdawalla.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.