LCROSS acquisition imaging of spacecraft 6-27 to 7-2

From: Canopus56 (
Date: Fri Jun 26 2009 - 21:28:09 UTC

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    The above page provides local circumstances information for attempting imaging of the LCROSS-Centaur spacecraft during a limiting observing window from June 27 through July 2 in the early morning hours. Initial LCROSS orbit one imaging opportunities are limited by a rising first quarter Moon. Only small 1 hour windows occur each night after the Moon sets and with the LCROSS spacecraft being between 30 and 20 degrees above the local horizon. Illuminated fractions during this window range from 20% to 40%. LCROSS will be at a distance similar to the Moon itself. 
    The magnitude of the object is unknown. It may not be visible. The purpose of LCROSS amateur imaging is to determine if the spacecraft can be tracked by amateur class observers in a manner similar to minor planet body J002E3 - an Apollo 12 booster that was imaged by amateurs in 2002. 
    The local circumstance information is based in the planned LCROSS orbit from a Horizons generated ephemeris for W110 N41 - Salt Lake City, Utah. The apparent position of LCROSS is topocentric sensitive - as is the Moon at a similar distance. Nonetheless, the charts may provide useful guidance of other Intermountain and Pacific CONUS zone observers. 
    An alt-az overview chart is presented first, followed by nightly equatorial 5 degrees charts, and ending with the source ephemeris table. 
    This local circumstances page supplements the general cruise orbit discussion at: 
    - Clear Skies - Kurt 
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