I know I said that NASA's LCROSS impactor was going to smack into the crater Cabeus-A on October 9th, but NASA changed their minds: the new target is the crater Cabeus proper. New analysis of data from other probes indicates that Cabeus has more hydrogen locked up in the regolith than Cabeus-A, and in fact has the highest hydrogen concentration in the south polar region. As an added bonus, the topography of the crater is such that a valley will let sunlight hit the plume of ejected dust sooner than it would have had they stayed with Cabeus-A as a target. That gives scientists more time to look at the ejecta, and earlier is better because the plume will be denser too.
I hope this is the right choice for NASA, but I have to say I'm impressed they can change their plans this late in the game. Let's hope they see some water!
TODAY IN SLATE
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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
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
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Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.