May 17, 2013

Bright Explosion on the Moon 2013

For the past 8 years, NASA astronomers have been monitoring the Moon for signs of explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the lunar surface. "Lunar meteor showers" have turned out to be more common than anyone expected, with hundreds of detectable impacts occurring every year.

They've just seen the biggest explosion in the history of the program.

"On March 17, 2013, an object about the size of a small boulder hit the lunar surface in Mare Imbrium," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we've ever seen before."

The 40 kg meteoroid measuring 0.3 to 0.4 meters wide hit the Moon traveling 56,000 mph. The resulting explosion packed as much punch as 5 tons of TNT.

Unlike Earth, which has an atmosphere to protect it, the Moon is airless and exposed. "Lunar meteors" crash into the ground with fair frequency. Since the monitoring program began in 2005, NASA’s lunar impact team has detected more than 300 strikes, most orders of magnitude fainter than the March 17th event. Statistically speaking, more than half of all lunar meteors come from known meteoroid streams such as the Perseids and Leonids. The rest are sporadic meteors--random bits of comet and asteroid debris of unknown parentage.

U.S. Space Exploration Policy eventually calls for extended astronaut stays on the lunar surface. Identifying the sources of lunar meteors and measuring their impact rates gives future lunar explorers an idea of what to expect. Is it safe to go on a moonwalk, or not? The middle of March might be a good time to stay inside.

  source: science.nasa.gov , nasatv

6 comments:

  1. I smell some thing fishy here.

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  2. Yes....I agree. I think it's funny that I've seen nothing published about these "300 other impacts" but the one that was visible to the naked eye (visible to anyone) got published. I smell disinformation.....

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  3. this past weds/thurs I saw a few short lived meteors fly by... the 2 longest ones on weds went in opposite direction, I find it weird cause I rarely see any unless it is during a forecasted meteor shower

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  4. Agreed there's something going on guys

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