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This half of the Earth will be faced toward the moon at about 4:30 a.m. PDT when LCROSS plunges into the lunar surface. NASA is planning a series of parties at observatories and museums across the U.S. to observe the event with experts.
Excellent lighting conditions are expected in the Mountain, Pacific, Alaska and Hawaii time zones. In the Central time zone, the best viewing will be west of the Mississippi, and daybreak in the Eastern time zone will prevent viewing the plume.
Since the Sun rises no more than 1.6 degrees above the horizon at the moon's poles, shallow craters can have permanently shadowed floors where water ice can exist.
As it approaches the moon, LCROSS will release the Centaur then brake and turn 180 degrees to allow the instrument payload to capture the Centaur impact. It will have four minutes after the Centaur crashes to collect data and transmit it back to earth before it is vaporized.