Europlanet : Great spectrometer - but you broke my laser!
by Doug Ellison in Potsdam
Mark was followed by Bernard Foing - whose colleague Pascale Ehrenfreund spoke about the SMART-1 impact last year in Valencia. Not much new information, but a few extra little snippets of data. The last full frame of data from SMART-1 was received at 05:42:21.759 on the morning of September 3, 2006. However a radio observatory in Australia continued to recieve a signal until 05:42:22.394076. That's a very accurate timing which constrains the impact point along the trajectory down to plus or minus 2 centimeters.
Smart 1 impact flash
This contour map of the flash, so bright that it is saturated, shows that the North (top) and South (bottom) of the flash are not identical. There is a clear elongation on the South side in the direction of the motion. The elongations at 45 degrees are due to the diffraction pattern from the secondary mirror supports (the spider). The units on the axes of the graph are WIRCam pixels: 0.3" or ~0.5km.
The well-reported and often re-shown (guilty - so I found a new one) image of the impact as seen by the CFHT telescope demonstrated a contour in the direction of trajectory and the debris cloud thereafter is thought to have travelled as much as 40 kilometers downrange, and higher than 15 kilometers. The
We know you love reading about space exploration, but did you know you can make it happen?
Consider a gift to our Space Policy and Advocacy program to fuel more missions, more science, and more exploration.