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NASA sets crash course to the moon

October 7, 2009 12:16:07 AM PDT
NASA will send an old satellite on a suicide mission to the moon on Friday. Eyewitness News caught a preview at the Griffith Observatory. Scientists are purposely going to blast a crater on the moon in hopes of finding water.

"The mission is called L-Cross. This mission has an empty booster crashing into the shadow near the south pole of the moon and the material that is thrown up from that creator will be sensed from a following satellite that will fly right through it and crash into the moon too," said astronomical observer Anthony Cook.

"Recently we just found that the moon does have some humidity to it," said Cook. "It has a little bit of water. What we hope to do is video tape the event and see if we can actually see the material as it flies up out of the creator."

The fun part of the mission is that people will be able to view the whole thing from a telescope in our very own backyards.

"Los Angeles is very favored because the moon is directly over head," Cook said. "To see this you will need a telescope that's 12 inches in diameter or more. I wouldn't let that discourage anybody who has a telescope though from looking."

You might have to camp out to see the action. This all happens at 4:31 A.M. PT Friday.

"It's going to make an implosion that we're hoping us amateur astronomers will be able to view," said amateur astronomer Mike Lanska. "I've got a 12-inch telescope that I'm going to set up in my backyard."

And if you happen to be one of the few to capture something unique, NASA has set up a Web site for you to submit your discovery.

"The L-Cross science site is where amateur astronomers can take pictures in your backyard and you're able to see something, you can email the stuff to NASA," Cook said.

You can watch the spectacle live and submit your photos to the L-Cross Web site by clicking on the link below:

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