Saturday, 20 April, 2019

Telescopes capture moment of comet-rock impact on moon during eclipse

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Cary Marshall | 25 January, 2019, 16:00

You can see that flash in this video.

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles in the U.S. also recorded the impact during its livestream of the eclipse.

A meteor hit the moon during a lunar eclipse (pictured here from London).

The biggest news in astronomy and space fanatic circles over the last week or so has been the total lunar eclipse that happened recently.

Many astronomers speculated what had happened, but one of them, Jose Maria Madiedo from the University of Huelva in Spain, quickly confirmed that it was indeed a meteorite that hit the moon.

More news: Tesla To Start Model 3 Deliveries To Europe In February

Astronomers managed to capture the moment of an impact during this week's eclipsed moon. The MIDAS project uses data from several astronomical observatories throughout the country to track flashes on the moon's surface and gather information about the rate of lunar impacts, which in turn can tell astronomers about the frequency of impacts in the Earth's atmosphere.

Madiedo set up extra telescopes for the eclipse, and says he jumped out of his chair when he learned an impact was seen. "I was really exhausted when the eclipse was over". "I did not want to miss any potential impact event", he explained in an email.

An awesome supercut video from The Virtual Telescope Project by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi in Ceccano, Italy showcases unbelievable views of the Super Blood Wolf Moon lunar eclipse of January 20, 2019.

Then computer software alerted him to the impact. The observation of such a rare event could help scientists understand the Moon's surface topography and reconstruct its impact history. Still, its impact was large enough to be spotted by observers as well as the automated MIDAS system, and that's pretty cool.

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