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The Moon and a Satellite

The Moon and a Satellite

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On Saturday night some history will be made on the moon again. The European Space Agency will take SMART-1 a satellite that's been up in space since 2003 and crash it into the suface of the moon. This will happen at around 11:40 mountain time Saturday night and should be at angle so which the craft is illuminated. SMART-1 has been running on solar panel on its mission in space so far.

SMART-1 will land at the "Lake of Excellence" a real place on the moon, it's a 100 mile wide crater on the southern hemisphere of the moon. If you have a telescope you should be able to see this impact, something like a meteor crashing into the moon.

The Salt Lake Astronomical Society will have a public party on Saturday night to check out Pluto and SMART-1. The information is on the right and you can find the directions to their gathering over on their website.

Because this is basically a man made meteoroid, scientists can track how much of a flash will be made by the space craft, they already know how much kinetic energy SMART-1 has. When SMART-1 lands, the impact we might be able to see from earth is from a flash of heat and light. But, if it makes a plume, we might be able to see that too.

KSL Meteorologist Dina Freedman.

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