If you’ve got a telescope and clear skies, you may want to take a look at around 4:30 a.m. Pacific, time, when NASA is scheduled to “bomb” the moon in search of water. At that time, the LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) will launch a spent rocket into the moon’s South Pole, creating an explosion that will hopefully reveal how much ice is hidden in the shadows. Once the LCROSS itself settles on the moon, the measurements begin.
All of this stems from several studies in the journal Science last month, which concluded that the moon at least has hydrogen and oxygen, the building blocks of water. If water is found, NASA hopes moon colonizers could some day use it. To see the LCROSS bombing, you’ve got to be in North, Central or South America, and you’ll need at least a 10-inch telescope. You won’t be able to see the impact itself, because that’s happening on the moon’s dark side, but you should be able to see a plume of dust, catching the sunlight as it settles from the impact. [via National Geographic]