Sunday, 19 May 2013

Video: Bright Explosion - Meteor Hits the Moon

May 17, 2013:  For the past 8 years, NASA astronomers have been monitoring the Moon for signs of explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the lunar surface. "Lunar meteor showers" have turned out to be more common than anyone expected, with hundreds of detectable impacts occurring every year.
They've just seen the biggest explosion in the history of the program.

"On March 17, 2013, an object about the size of a small boulder hit the lunar surface in Mare Imbrium," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we've ever seen before."

Lunar Impact (splash)
A new ScienceCast video describes the bright lunar explosion of March 17, 2013. Play it

Anyone looking at the Moon at the moment of impact could have seen the explosion--no telescope required.  For about one second, the impact site was glowing like a 4th magnitude star.

More & Video - http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/16may_lunarimpact/

Source: NASA Science News.

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