If you missed the recent Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse, you missed an extra special event, as for the first time, an asteroid was captured impacting the moon during an eclipse. Check out video from the event.
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. During the recent eclipse, at 5:41 a.m. local time, Madiedo captured the first such impact, showing as a bright flash on the top left portion of the moon. Madiedo is part of MIDAS (Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System), which started in 1997 and uses software that analyzes data from worldwide observatories to find such events. Normally, the team monitors the moon just after and before the New Moon, when the surface is dark and thus, impacts are in good contrast, but they also gain additional opportunity during eclipses, though this is the first time one has actually been captured. The team has not fully analyzed the impact yet, but Madiedo says it was likely a small asteroid in the range of 10 kilograms. It’s certainly a very unique and neat event.
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