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

25 Января, 2019, 22:14 | Author: Kelly Sanders
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And in the eclipse when moon, earth and the sun forms their positions, the earth at that time blocks the sun and there are just the silvers of the light which makes through the atmosphere of the planet and then that is more towards the moon.

"I have not heard of anyone seeing an impact like this during a lunar eclipse before", said Sara Russell, a professor of planetary sciences at the Natural History Museum in London.

Astronomer Jose Maria Madiedo has spent the last decade training his telescopes and cameras on the moon during lunar eclipses, hoping to capture just such an impact during such an event.

An aircraft passes the full moon as the lunar eclipse begins in Germany. During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon appears about ten thousand times dimmer than usual, so seeing the bright flash of the impact is much easier.

For this particular lunar eclipse, as rare as it already was, Madiedo and his team doubled the number of telescopes observing the moon from four to eight.

The Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System, or MIDAS, telescopes that Madiedo used have high-sensitivity video cameras, which are ideal at capturing these split-second events.

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Russell said that flashes could be seen from Earth only when the lunar surface was in shadow, which is normally a few days before and after the new moon.

Madiedo's estimate suggests that the rock that hit the Moon that night weighed about two kilograms and was about the size of a football.

"I was very, very happy when it happened", says Madedo.

According to ancient astronaut theorists, the lunar eclipse this weekend had an unexpected visitor.

A meteor has hit the moon! In this case, MIDAS scored a home run, and it was the first time the system was able to spot an impact during a total lunar eclipse.

"I jumped out of the chair I was sitting on".

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