"Watch Party" at CBC observatory - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

"Watch Party" at CBC observatory


PASCO, Wash. -- Like many others did around the world, a group gathered to watch a rocket hit the moon at the Columbia Basin College observatory Friday morning.

Early reports from NASA indicate the crash was a success, but people at "watch parties" who tuned in to see signs of impact were mostly disappointed. NASA scientists claimed the crash would emit plumes of smoke up to 6 miles in the air, but initial images showed next to nothing. A telescope at CBC was looking at the target zone, but nothing was seen there either.

"For us, astronomy is 'sometimes you see things and sometimes you don't", said Tony George, astronomy professor. "We were prepared to go either way".

The rocket struck the moon's surface at about 4:31 a.m. pacific. Scientists want to find out if there is water on the moon by testing dust kicked up from the explosion. Even without a big plume of debris, NASA scientists believe they have enough dust to answer that question.