Largest Meteor Impact Ever Recorded Strikes The Moon

Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 10:28AM
Astronomy
Moon
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 10:28AM
Largest Meteor Impact Ever Recorded Strikes The Moon

Video footage of a 400 kg meteorite striking the moon has been published in what is thought to be the largest impact of its kind ever to be recorded. Captured by a team at the University of Huelva in Southern Spain, the impact is thought to have generated a level of energy similar to the detonation of around 15 tonnes of TNT. The spectacular footage, seen in the video above, shows the meteor slamming into the moon at an estimated 38,000mph a speed which, coupled with the size of the object, created the brightest meteor-moon impact ever recorded.

 

"Usually lunar impacts have a very short duration - just a fraction of a second," said Professor Jose Madiedo from the University of Huelva. But the impact we detected lasted over 8 seconds. It was almost as bright as a Pole Star, which makes it the brightest impact we have recorded from Earth."

 

The team at the University of Huelva believe the meteor left an impact crater approximately 40 meters wide, although they are currently waiting for NASA observations to confirm these estimates. 

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