TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Before-and-after moon pictures show deliberate crash hardly dented the landscape

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
 

LOS ANGELES — When NASA's twin spacecraft Ebb and Flow crashed into the moon last year, scientists did not count on seeing the aftermath.

On Tuesday, the space agency released before-and-after pictures of the lunar north pole, where Ebb and Flow came to rest. Months after the back-to-back, mission-ending dives, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter flew over the crash sites and imaged the final resting spots.

Ebb and Flow broke into smithereens upon impact, and pinpointing the small craters they carved was difficult, said Arizona State University researcher Mark Robinson, who operates the orbiter's camera.

Even the mission's chief scientist, Maria Zuber, was surprised when she saw the impact sites, which looked like dots.

“I was expecting to see skid tracks,” said Zuber of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ebb and Flow deliberately plunged into a lunar mountain in December after mapping the moon's gravity field in unprecedented detail. The location was chosen because it was far away from the Apollo landings and other historic sites.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Jury eyes execution as option for Colorado movie theater shooter
  2. GOP claims enough votes to reject Iran nuclear deal
  3. Congress targets Stingray cellphone data monitors
  4. Realistic toy guns sold to N.Y. residents spur fines of more than $300K for online retailers
  5. Who wins, who loses under stricter power plant limits
  6. Man killed in Mississippi suspected in shooting of suspect’s mother
  7. Hitchhiking robot’s journey west cut short in Philly
  8. Georgia judge says she did not involuntarily commit Louisiana movie theater gunman Houser
  9. West Virginia on pace to issue record number of concealed-carry permits
  10. Fetal parts in Planned Parenthood lab shown in 4th video
  11. Obama orders steeper emission cuts from power plants