Monday, February 24, 2014

'Biggest observed meteorite impact' hits Moon

Did someone say "End Times"? Jes' kiddin', Mom. I think.

Scientists say they have observed a record-breaking impact on the Moon.

Spanish astronomers spotted a meteorite with a mass of about half a tonne crashing into the lunar surface last September... They say the collision would have generated a flash of light so bright that it would have been visible from Earth.

..."This is the largest, brightest impact we have ever observed on the Moon," said Prof Jose Madiedo, of the University of Huelva in south-western Spain... "The impact we detected lasted over eight seconds... "Usually lunar impacts have a very short duration - just a fraction of a second. But the impact we detected lasted over eight seconds. It was almost as bright as the Pole Star, which makes it the brightest impact event that we have recorded from Earth," said Prof Madiedo.

The researchers say a lump of rock weighing about 400kg (900lb) and travelling at 61,000km/h (38,000mph) slammed into the surface of the Moon... They believe the dense mass, which had a width of 0.6-1.4m (2-4.6ft), hit with energy equivalent to about 15 tonnes of TNT...

...Unlike Earth, the Moon has no atmosphere to shield it from meteorite collisions, and its surface shows a record of every strike.

The impact is said to have left a crater more than 40 meters wide, or roughly the circumference of Michael Moore, if memory serves.

Hat tip: BadBlue Real-Time Tech News

No comments: