Image of Kaguya impact on the Moon at approximately 18:25 Universal time from the Anglo-Australian Telescope. Image credit: Bernard Foing of the European Space Agency.

The Japanese Kaguya probe ended its Moon mission on June 10th with an impact on the lunar surface. Observers were able to spot a bright flash from the crash (above), and researchers will study its impact site to watch how radiation and micrometeoroids weather the newly exposed lunar soil over time.

The event was captured in HD video via onboard instruments. During its mission the probe made the world’s first HD video of the lunar surface. This amazing video is so clear it was easily mistaken for a computer simulation.

Launched in September 2007, the primary task of Kaguya was to further our scientific knowledge of the Moon’s origin and evolution by studying its composition, gravitational field and surface characteristics.

Kaguya deployed two smaller satellites after reaching lunar orbit that allowed it to relay data to Earth while it was on the moon’s far side and to better measure anomalies in the moon’s gravitational field.

Read more about this historic event in the news: Japanese Lunar Orbiter
Impacts Moon

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff
Source: JAXA/ESA

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