Change of address for LCROSS

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Sept. 29 2009 7:23 AM

Change of address for LCROSS

LCROSSI 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!

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

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