NASA scientists have recorded the biggest ever meteorite impact on the Moon, with an explosion equal to 5 tons of TNT. The event is part of ‘lunar meteor showers’ observed by astronauts of the Moon exploration program.
The 40-kg meteorite measuring 0.3 to 0.4 meters wide traveling 56,000 mph slammed through the Moon’s surface on March 17, 2013.
The explosion from the impact, glowing like a 4th magnitude star, was so bright that it could have been seen from Earth with the naked eye. However the flash of light lasted only for a second and was rather difficult to detect.
Ron Suggs an analyst at the Marshall space flight center was the first to notice the explosion on a digital video recorded by one of the monitoring programs.
“It jumped right out at me. It was so bright” he acknowledged.
In this picture the Moon is seen illuminated solely by light reflected from the Earth.
"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 ten times as bright as anything we’ve ever seen before."
Unlike Earth, the Moon has no atmosphere to protect it. As there is no oxygen, it poses the question of how they explode.
“Lunar meteors don’t require oxygen or combustion to make themselves visible. They hit the ground with so much kinetic energy that even a pebble can make a crater several feet wide. The flash of light comes not from combustion but rather from the thermal glow of molten rock and hot vapors at the impact site,” NASA explains.
As the crater from the impact could be as wide as 20 meters, comparing it to the brightness of the explosion might give certain explanations to scientists about “lunar meteor showers”.
For the past eight years NASA scientists have been observing the Moon as part of a lunar monitoring program to identify new kinds of space debris that can threaten our planet. The US space agency says that this is a ‘good candidate’ for research.
The lunar impact might have been part of a much larger event, Cooke noted. NASA and the University of Western Ontario’s sky cameras detected an unusual number of deep-penetrating meteors on Earth. These speeding fireballs rushed along nearly identical orbits between Earth and the asteroid belt. He notes that the Earth and the Moon were pelted by meteoroids at about the same time and supposes that these two events were connected.
Document Confirms British were Plotting to Invade Germay Before Germany Invaded Poland 2014 09 02 The declaration of war against Germany had nothing to do with Poland, and was in fact a brutal war of aggression launched for economic reasons against the peaceful German people. As you can see in Judea Declares War on Germany.
An early version of the ‘King’s Speech’ reveals Britain was preparing to declare war on Germany before Hitler invaded ...
Study Claims Cave Art Made by Neanderthals 2014 09 02 A series of lines scratched into rock in a cave near the southwestern tip of Europe could be proof that Neanderthals were more intelligent and creative than previously thought.
The cross-hatched engravings inside Gorham’s Cave in Gibraltar are the first known examples of Neanderthal rock art, according to a team of scientists who studied the site. The find is significant because ...
Nigeria launches new biometric ID card - brought to you by Mastercard 2014 09 02
Yesterday afternoon, president Goodluck Jonathan became the first recipient of Nigeria’s new national eID card, in a ceremony at the presidential villa in the capital Abuja. The cards will be issued to 13 million Nigerians as part of a pilot project, with the ultimate aim of producing a national identity management system (NIMS).
Nigeria’s NIMS is an ambitious attempt to consolidate ...
LA Times Now Describing Illegal Aliens As ’Informal Workers’ Who ’Labor Unofficially’ 2014 09 02 Via Weasel Zippers, we learned the Los Angeles Times has a new term for illegal aliens in the work force: they’re “informal workers,” and that doesn’t mean they don’t arrive on the job in a tuxedo.
Times reporter Tiffany Hsu (a "UC Berkeley grad") began her Saturday story with the new I-word (and illegal immigrants also “labored unofficially” in "gray employment"):