Countdown continues…

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At 1.31am (MST) NASA will count down to T-3 hours mark for the centaur impact. We are busily working away making sure we have all our cameras aligned (we are using 4 different camera’s for different purposes tonight!), we are collecting calibration data that is vital for our science results, making sure our data reduction software works and staying in communication with NASA and all the other telescopes that are observing the event.

On the LCROSS viewer we have a bunch of camera images for you to look at – starting at the top of the right hand column we have:

– The All Sky Camera, which is located outside the telescope and shows us the full sky. The red + sign shows exactly where the telescope is pointing.

– The next one is the view form a wide angle telescope which is bolted on to the side of our main large telescope. Here you should be able to see a more zoomed out image of the moon.

– The third is the image from a small field of view acquisition camera which looks through the main 6.5 meter telescope. It shows a very zoomed in image of the moon so might not look as you expect.

Along the bottom we show 4 webcams that are placed around the observatory; firstly the front of the chamber (dome) (you can see the shutters open with so much illumination from the moon), two cameras at the back of chamber and one in the control room. The control room webcam has the most activity! We have a large crew up here tonight to make sure we get the best possible observations we can for this one time opportunity.