Thursday, October 8, 2009


I've written several times now about the paranoid and gullible ravings of Coast-to-Coast, the late night radio show I've been addicted to for over a decade. Their territory: UFOs, Bigfoot, the chupacabra, hollow Earth theories. I don't listen because I believe it (though I do believe maybe 10% of the time). I listen because it's interesting and entertaining. I think of it as the bubbling Id of the true American psyche.

The CtC listeners are all abuzz about the Friday morning LCROSS impact on the moon. Some background: NASA is slamming a spacecraft into the south pole of the moon at 5600 mph, to kick up a plume of dust and see if it has water in it. It'll happen at 5:31 Friday morning MST, and should be bright enough to see if you have a big enough telescope, as the cloud is expected to rise 6 miles or more above the surface.

The crazy bit: CtC's resident space conspiracy theorist, Richard C. Hoagland, says that the real reason for the impact is so NASA can destroy their secret moon base there, used in the US's secret war on UFOs. Who knew? They want to get rid of any evidence of the base before other countries discover it. He goes on to say that the result will not be a 6 mile high cloud, but a huge fireball, as ammunition and fuel and oxygen ignite. So, if there's a huge flash at the bottom of the moon as you're going off to work tomorrow, well, you heard it here first.

I will not be awake to watch the impact, though I am tempted. I'm on the right part of the globe, and my scope is at the bottom end of the range big enough to see it. If you are interested in trying to see it, NASA has a very informative page on how to do so (you can also watch it online). The crater is called Cabeus A, and I stole a picture from NASA and posted it above.


Eric said...

If I had a non-busted radio in my car I'd love to tune in at some point. Instead I settle for a different sort of id, Christian talk radio. Keeps me awake on those cross-country drives.

Gordo said...

Jeez, I thought the secret base was on Planet X. I really should keep up with these things.

I'm just waiting to hear if anyone is going to point the 16" cassegrain in the observatory at work in the right direction. :-)

Clowncar said...

Eric, there is nothing, nothing better than listening to talk radio (of any sort) on a cross country drive in the middle of the night.

Gordo, DO IT! Start bugging people to set it up if they haven't already. In a 16" scope it just might be spectacular.

ArtSparker said...

This project (aside from the theoretical ramifications) sounds like toys for big boys. The whole water vapor thing is just an excuse for bashing one thing against another. IMHO.

Clowncar said...

Well, that was kinda disappointing, wasn't it?

ArtSparter, this seemed like genuine science to me. Manned space flight is the thing that has always seemed like Toys for Big Boys. Lotsa money spent just so you can say you got there first. Very little actual scientific discovery for the buck.