image by Prof. Ricardo Jose Vaz Tolentino

I am filling in for Chuck the next couple of days as his daughter is getting married - congrats to the happy couple! This LPOD is a submission I received last time I was minding the store, so thought I would post it this time - it is handy to have a few good ones on standby. While it is not the anniversary of the landing of Luna 2, I will let you read the details from Ricardo:

The Luna program, also called Lunik, consisted of a series of robotic missions sent to the Moon by the extinct Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, between 1959 and 1976 . Forty-four probes were launched of this series. Of this total only twenty-four spacecraft formally received the designation of "Luna", while twenty others had been released and were not publicly recognized at the time, because they have not reached the lunar orbit. Some of the probes were designed to orbit the Moon and others to try to land softly on the lunar surface, but many of them eventually impacted. The Soviet probe Luna 2 was launched on September 12, 1959 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It weighed about 390 kg and collided with the surface of the Moon between the craters Archimedes and Autolycus (selenographic coordinates: LAT: 29° 06′ 00″ N, LON: 00° 00′ 00″ E), on September 14, 1959, with inclination angle of 60 º and speed of 3.3 km / s. This was the first man-made object that reached the Moon's surface, in other words, another world.

Maurice Collins

Technical Details
Date & Time:
May 30, 2012, 21:41:10 LT (00:41:10 UT).
Technical details:
Sky-Watcher Collapsible Truss-Tube DOB 12" + Celestron Ultima 2X Barlow + Orion StarShoot Solar System Color Imager III Camera (photo with just 1 frame).
Ricardos website:

Related Links
21st Century Atlas chart 18.


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