Lunar NASA got hit by meteor “attack”
The size of the meteorite, caught in the apparatus, was 0.8 mm, and its speed is 7 kilometers per second, said scientists.
WASHINGTON, may 28. /Offset. TASS Anatoly Bochinin/. Lunar Orbiter NASA (LRO) during shooting, the surface of the satellite was hit by a meteor “attack”. As was reported at the end of the week, aerospace control, in case LRO hit the small fragment. The unit itself was still intact, all systems functioning normally. The incident could have gone unnoticed if at this point, LRO did not survey NASA found that some of the images have the effect of “trembling camera”.
“This meteoroid was flying faster than a speeding bullet. LRO departed not from it, he stood hit”, — reads the statement of Mark Robinson, head of the program. The incident occurred on October 13, 2014, but NASA decided to report it only now, having received all the data about the incident.
Only LRO is equipped with three cameras, two of them narrow-angle. They scan the lunar surface from left to right and then connect the resulting images to create one large image. Usually the shots turn out very clear, but this time on one of the sites at the top of the photo the image was blurry.
First, scientists considered all possible causes of this problem. One of the first was the vibration of the entire apparatus, but pictures with other cameras was clear. This led experts to the idea that the culprit was a shard caught directly on camera.
But this “investigation” is not over. NASA decided to study the spoiled the to understand, what was the speed and size of the object. This is to help scientists it is special software used in the control unit during startup, as it can read and analyze vibration. It turned out that the size of this “meteorite” was only 0.8 mm, a speed of 7 kilometers per second.
In their statement, the scientists noted that this case reminds us of the dangers of staying in the open space, and the value of the received apparatus data.
LRO is in lunar orbit since 2009. The main purpose of his mission — the study of the poles of the moon and the discovery there of traces of water.