Christmas evening December 25th look to the southeast and you will see a nearly full moon with a bright “star” to the upper left. This star is actually Jupiter. Jupiter will appear just a bit over one-half degree from the limb of the moon. One-half degree is roughly equal to the moon’s apparent width. From the eastern and central U.S. the best time to view will be just as the sun goes down. The time when they will be closest will be 23:18 UTC or 6:18 EST.
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(Source NASA) – NASA has named the site where twin agency spacecraft impacted the moon Monday in honor of the late astronaut, Sally K. Ride, who was America’s first woman in space and a member of the probes’ mission team. Last Friday, Ebb and Flow, the two spacecraft comprising NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, were commanded to descend into a lower orbit that would result in an impact Monday on a mountain near the moon’s north pole. The formation-flying duo hit the lunar surface as planned at 2:28:51 p.m. PST (5:28:51 p.m. EST) and 2:29:21 p.m. PST (5:29:21 p.m. EST) at a speed of 3,760 mph (1.7 kilometers per second). The location of the Sally K. Ride Impact Site is on the southern face of an approximately 1.5 mile- (2.5 -kilometer) tall mountain near a crater named Goldschmidt. “Sally was all about getting the job done, whether it be in exploring space, inspiring the next generation, or helping make the GRAIL mission the resounding success it is today,” said GRAIL principal investigator [...]
Two NASA satellites called Ebb and Flow are set to impact the Moon on a mountain near the moon’s north pole at about 2:28 p.m. PST (5:28 p.m. EST) Monday, Dec. 17 . The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission probes, are being sent purposely into the lunar surface because their low orbit and low fuel levels preclude further scientific operations.Twin lunar-orbiting NASA spacecraft that have allowed scientists to learn more about the internal structure and composition of the moon are being prepared for their controlled descent and impact . The duo’s successful prime and extended science missions generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body. The map will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved. “It is going to be difficult to say goodbye,” said GRAIL principal investigator Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “Our little robotic twins have been exemplary members of the GRAIL family, and planetary science has advanced in a major way because [...]