This is a treat. On Jan. 21st, a meteoroid slammed into the Moon. We know this because many amateur astronomers witnessed the explosion and recorded video and photos. The fireball was visible against the shadowy backdrop of a total lunar eclipse. Video of the event follows.
We know this because many amateur astronomers witnessed or photographed the explosion. Petr Horálek was one of them; he captured the fireball from Boa Vista, one of the islands of Cape Verde:
“As I was sorting through my pictures of the eclipse, I was trying to avoid images with dusty specks or hot pixels,” says Horálek. “Upon closer inspection, I realized this was no hot pixel. It was a flash of light on the Moon–and other astronomers had photographed it as well.”
At least a dozen reliable still images and videos of the impact have surfaced so far.
Here is video of the strike during the eclipse:
These images correspond to a lunar impact flash spotted by the telescopes operating in the framework of the MIDAS survey on Jan. 21, at 4:41:38 universal time (23:41:38 US eastern time). The impact took place during the totality phase of the lunar eclipse. The flash was produced by a rock (a meteoroid) that hit the lunar ground. The MIDAS Survey is being conducted by the University of Huelva and the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia.
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