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See the point of impact where Beresheet crashed into the moon



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Left: Beresheet impact site. Right: A comparison of the images taken before and after the crash to illustrate the slight changes in the brightness of the surface. NASA / GSFC / Arizona State University

SpaceIL's Beresheet probe may not have been the last hurdle to land on the moon, but could still contribute to scientific discovery. An image of the crash site was taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and analyzed for lunar ground information.

The LRO is an unmanned spacecraft orbiting the Moon at a height of 50 meters and 200 km (31

to 124 miles). It was originally started to help with tasks such as finding a suitable landing site for lunar missions, but now focuses primarily on scientific work such as collecting temperature maps and high-resolution images (NAC). There are two NACs in the LRO that record panchromatic images at a scale of 0.5 meters over a 5 km long swath. These are accompanied by a Wide Angle Camera (WAC), which records images on a scale of 100 meters per pixel in seven color bands over a 60 km long swath. The data from both camera sets are then fed to the Sequence and Compressor System (SCS). NACs, WAC and SCS together form the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, which takes detailed pictures of the lunar surface.

In the Beresheet impact images it is not clear if the impact has created a crater in the lunar surface or not. "We can not see a crater on the scale of the NAC image. Maybe there is one, but it's just too small to see, "Dr. Mark Robinson of Arizona State University in a statement. Alternatively, he said, the vehicle could hit the surface at a low angle, resulting in a nick rather than a crater. Or maybe because the vehicle was so small and fragile and did not run at very high speed, it crumbled on impact and did not produce a crater at all.

Even though the beresheet landing was unsuccessful, it still could give scientists valuable insights into the lunar environment. It is classified as a small impact event, like two previous spaceships that hit the Moon: GRAIL (2012) and LADEE (2014). These events can help scientists understand how the lunar soil or regolith changes over time]
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