Friday, October 9, 2009

The Biggest Bang that Noone ever heard

LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite) is about to hit the moon. The exact time of the impact (give or take a few seconds) is Friday 9th Oct 2009 11:31:30 UTC (about 7.30 EDT).

Its going to hit at about 9000km/hr (~2.5km/s), and with a mass of about 2 tons that will give it about the same energy as a ton of TNT. Its not quite the biggest extra-terrestrial manmade silent bangs ever. Deep Impact which hit comet Temple had a considerably smaller impactor (~400kg) but went MUCH faster (MV^2 counts!). Deep Impact hit the comet at about 10 km/s and had the same energy as about 5 tons of TNT

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