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Flash from Kaguya's lunar impact observed by AAT

Date: 11 June 2009
Depicts: Impact flash of the Kaguya lunar orbiter
Copyright: Jeremy Bailey and Steve Lee (AAT)

The impact of the Kaguya lunar orbiter on the Moon was successfully observed with the IRIS2 instrument on the 4-metre Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) in Australia. A narrow band filter centred at 2.3 µm was used for the observations.

This sequence of four images, taken around the impact time, shows the bright flash (in the second frame) and its subsequent fading. The frames are part of a time series of 1 second exposures with 0.6 seconds intervals between each frame.

The impact site was close to the Moon's limb on the lower-right part of the Moon's visible disk (around lunar coordinates ~80.4°E, ~65.5°S). At the time of the impact the Moons phase was less than four days after Full Moon. The terminator, separating the Sun-lit part of the Moon from the part not directly illuminated by the Sun, runs from centre-left to upper-right in these images.

Last Update: 11 June 2009

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