Our celestial neighbour's nightside was flashed briefly by a meteorite impact, captured by a Japanese astronomer.
Hiratsuka City Museum curator Daichi Fujii recorded the event using cameras set to monitor the moon.
The flash occurred on Feb. 23 at 20:14:30.8 Japan Standard Time as the meteorite appeared to strike near Ideler L crater, slightly northwest of Pitiscus crater, Fujii said.
On average, meteors travel at 48,280 kilometres per hour or 13.4 kilometres per second. As a result of their high-velocity impacts, they generate intense heat and create craters, as well as a brilliant flash of visible light. The above video captures a lunar impact, which is visible from Earth if it occurs in a region facing Earth during lunar nighttime.
The newly created crater could be around 12 or so metres in diameter and may eventually be imaged by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter or India's Chandrayaan 2 lunar probe, Fujii said.
Earth is hit by meteors every day, but most of them burn up completely when they collide with the atmosphere. In contrast, the moon has only a very tenuous exosphere, which causes meteors that wouldn't reach Earth's surface to impact the moon. As a result, the moon has craters covering most of its surface. Lunar soil is broken down into fine particles by these rocks constantly pounding the moon's surface.
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