Wikipedia's LCROSS says:

Centaur impacted successfully on October 9, 2009, at 11:31 UTC. The Shepherding Spacecraft descended through Centaur's ejectate plume, collected and relayed data, impacting six minutes later at 11:37 UTC.

Contrary to media reports at the time, neither the impact nor its dust cloud could be seen from Earth, using the naked eye or telescopes.

But what about the Chang'e 5-T1 mission rocket part (previously misidentified as a SpaceX cis-lunar 2nd stage from the 2015 DSCOVR launch)? It's supposed to hit the Moon on March 4th.

Question: Where will that rocket hit the Moon? Will it be visible from Earth?

See also:

Hat tip to @BrendanLuke's comment


1 Answer 1


The object will hit the Moon on the far side, not visible from Earth (emphasis added):

There have been a few folks who, for one reason or another, have asked me not to post their data. This includes some data before the object made a close lunar flyby on 2022 January 5; those data are quite important in lowering the uncertainties. With all the data, we've got a certain impact at 2022 March 4 12:25:58 Universal Time, at latitude +5.18, east longitude 233.55, plus or minus a few seconds and a few kilometers.

from Bill Gray's Project Pluto (probably the source for a few other related questions).

The webpage also includes a few pretty pictures:

impact location trajectory

For scale, Hertzsprung is about 520 km (315 miles) across.

Also potentially important:

The longitude, by the way, is East. The IAU (International Astronomical Union) has made a dog's breakfast out of cartographic systems on other planets; I had to go through some contortions to confirm that longitude 243 is on the side toward Mare Orientale, not the side toward Mare Crisium. "Mare Orientale" was named that back when "east" meant that side of the moon. With the new, official, IAU system, it's on the west side.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.