Astronomers Record Biggest Ever Meteorite Impact on Moon [VIDEO]
By Parismita Goswami | February 25, 2014 10:59 PM EST
Astronomers at the University of Huelva, Spain have witnessed a record-breaking meteorite impact on the moon's surface.
Screenshot from University of Huelva (YouTube)
Scientists have recorded a flash, from a meteorite colliding with the lunar surface which was so bright that it could have been seen through the naked eyes.
The collision was observed on 11 September 2013 with the Midas (Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System) in Spain.
Prior to this, the largest lunar explosion had occurred in March 2013, when a rock of 40 kgs hit the moon's surface at a speed of 90,000 km/hour.
However, the meteorite that hit the moon's surface in September weighed about 400 kgs, and travelled at a speed of 61,000 kilometers per hour.
The 400kg meteorite was so fast that the earth turned molten and vaporized, thus creating a flash and a 40 m wide crater on the surface of the moon.
The flash was visible to the naked eye for anyone whow was staring at the moon at clear viewing conditions. Soon after the impact, an afterglow was seen that lasted another eight seconds, which turned out as the brightest and longest incident ever recorded.
"This is the largest, brightest impact we have ever observed on the Moon. Usually lunar impacts have a very short duration - just a fraction of a second. It was almost as bright as the Pole Star, which makes it the brightest impact event that we have recorded from Earth," Astronomer Jose Madiedo, who leads the Midas project at the University of Huelva told BBC News.
Unlike the Earth, the lunar surface is susceptible to meteoroid attack as the moon's surface lacks the protective atmospheric layer.
The Midas telescopes have the ability to spot impacts on the lunar surface because of the tiny flashes of light that are produced following the collisions. The moon's surface experiences rocky collisions almost every three hours. However, many of them are insignificant.
Check here for the video
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
Join the Conversation
- Latest UFO Sighting Arizona: Couple See A Strange House That Appears Out Of Nowhere And Disappears, MUFON Report
- Astronomical Events October 2014: Blood-Red Total Lunar Eclipse, Solar Eclipse, Two Meteor Showers And Other Occurrences To Watch Out For
- Couple Who Paid Young Girls To Stomp Puppy To Death Gets Life Sentence
- NASA's Curiosity Rover Discovers Water On Martian Soil: Mars Not A Dry Planet
- Malaysian Flight MH370 Latest Update: New Search Images Reveal Unknown Seabed Details In The Indian Ocean [Watch Video]
- Google HTC Nexus 9 Tablet October 24 Launch Date Benefits Many
- Apple iPhone 6 vs. OnePlus One: With Invitation-Only Model Rested, OnePlus One Can Be A Real Threat To iPhone 6
- Galaxy Note 4 vs Nexus 6: Which Smartphone Dominates
- New Windows OS Is Not Windows 9, Microsoft To Launch Windows 10 As New OS Build
- Samsung Aware Of Gap Issue On Galaxy Note 4, Mentions It As Important Manufacturing Feature In Note 4 User Manual
- ISIS Supporters are Walking Among the Many in the United States – Report
- Airstrikes Against ISIS Has Claimed Innocent Lives In Syria, Dubbed ‘Ineffective’ By Jihadi Fighters, US Military To Ask For More Spending Money