Inconstant moon

| October 9, 2009

Got up a bit earlier than usual this morning with hopes of dragging out my telescope and seeing the LCROSS lunar impact first-hand. I was encouraged because when I went to bed last night, the sky had mostly cleared after raining and then snowing all day (final accumulation about 1/2″ of snow on the ground). Alas, ’twas not to be — there’s fog outside, a relatively rare phenomenon here. I can see the moon glowing through the fog, almost directly overhead. So I turned NASA TV on instead and built up the fire in the wood-burning stove; two of the dogs are out here with me. Now to see what happens . . .


Well, that was…underwhelming. As far as I can tell, the flash of the first impact overwhelmed the video signal from the trailing L-CROSS craft. I keep waiting for NASA TV to bring up some telescope views of the impact, but we’re treated instead to very low-key talking heads. Many, many years ago, Jerry Pournelle described someone’s lame marketing effort as if KFC were trying to market “hot, dead chicken”. That’s pretty much my impression every time I turn on NASA TV. I mean, I’m grateful they’re not doing the UFO/Bigfoot stuff that seems to have invaded the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, etc., but man, they’re telecasting is dull.

In other news, Pres. Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Seriously. I mean, shouldn’t they have waited until he actually accomplished something? Or was in office for more than 9 months? The Nobel Peace Prize committee has just wiped out whatever lingering value or meaning the prize may have had.  ..bruce w..

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Category: Main, Science, Space

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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