Science

World first as meteorite captured crashing into Moon during rare lunar eclipse

World first as meteorite captured crashing into Moon during rare lunar eclipse”

It is called a super blood moon because the lunar eclipse taking place in January is going to be bigger and brighter than normal.

A small and quick flash was first spotted during eclipse live streams at 11:41 PM ET, just as the eclipse started. Sunday's full moon was also a "supermoon"-the name given when its orbit is at its closest point to Earth, or perigee".

During the super blood wolf moon total lunar eclipse on Monday, cameras pointed at the moon captured the first known sighting of a meteorite slamming into the shadow-covered moon. Madiedo is part of MIDAS (Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System), which started in 1997 and uses software that analyzes data from worldwide observatories to find such events. This 24-second video of the impact was released by Jose Maria Madiedo at the University of Huelva in Spain.

Further investigation will be necessary to determine the size of the meteoroid and obtain pictures of its impact crater, but for a basis of comparison, the LCROSS mission plowed a Centaur upper stage (2.2 tons) into the lunar surface at 2.5 km/s.

Meteorite impacts happen all the time, Madiedo said, but they aren't easy to record for MIDAS, which requires the moon to be dark so that the white flash is visible - usually during the 10 days around a new moon.

The MIDAS survey is a Moon-watching that scours video of its surface in the hopes of detecting the tiny flashes associated with meteorite impacts.

Such a scene has been long-sought by astronomers, but proved elusive until now, even with the frequency of lunar eclipses. "It was a very exciting moment because I knew such a thing had never been recorded before".



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