A Japanese astronomer captured the telltale flash of a meteorite impacting the moon, inflicting a quick flash on our celestial neighbor’s nightside.
Daichi Fujii, curator of the Hiratsuka City Museum, recorded the occasion utilizing cameras set to observe the moon.
The time of the flash was 20:14:30.8 Japan Standard Time (7:14 a.m. EST, or 1114 GMT) on Feb. 23. The meteorite seems to have struck close to Ideler L crater, barely northwest of Pitiscus crater, Fujii mentioned.
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Meteors journey on average at round 30,000 mph (48,280 kph), or 8.3 miles per second (13.4 km/s). Their high-velocity impacts generate intense warmth and create craters, whereas additionally giving out an excellent flash of seen mild. Moon impacts could be seen from Earth, as captured above, if they’re giant sufficient and happen in an space throughout lunar nighttime going through Earth.
The newly created crater could possibly be round a dozen meters (39 toes) in diameter and should ultimately be imaged by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter or India’s Chandrayaan 2 lunar probe, Fujii mentioned.
私の観測史上最大の月面衝突閃光を捉えることができました！2023年2月23日20時14分30.8秒に出現した月面衝突閃光を、平塚の自宅から撮影した様子です（実際の速度で再生）。なんと1秒以上も光り続ける巨大閃光でした。月は大気がないため流星や火球は見られず、クレーターができる瞬間に光ります。 pic.twitter.com/Bi2JhQa9Q0February 24, 2023
While meteors collide with Earth each day, the overwhelming majority of those fritter away fully on contact with the environment. The moon, nevertheless, has solely a really tenuous exosphere, that means meteors that may not attain Earth’s floor generally influence the moon, creating its crater-covered look. These rocks consistently pound the lunar floor, generally breaking it proper all the way down to superb particles, or lunar soil.
Capturing these events additionally has science worth, serving to scientists study the speed of impacts on the lunar floor, which is all of the extra related with the U.S. and different international locations getting ready to send astronauts to the moon.