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New Crater on Moon after NASA sees Biggest Explosion Ever by Meteor

Explosion on Moon

On the night of March 17th, a boulder slammed into the Moon, creating the biggest explosion scientists have ever seen since on the Moon since they started monitoring it eight years ago.

“On March 17, 2013, an object about the size of a small boulder hit the lunar surface in Mare Imbrium,” Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office said in a statement. “It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we’ve ever seen before.”Explosion on Moon

The rock hitting the moon created a bright flash of light that would have been visible to anyone looking at the moon at the time with the naked eye, NASA scientists say.

Scientists estimate the rock was about 1 foot wide and weighed around 88 pounds. The explosion it created was as powerful as 5 tons of TNT, according to NASA scientists. The rock created a new crater 65 feet wide on the moon.

Once scientists went back and looked at the records, they noticed the impact as well as some meteor events on Earth. “On the night of March 17, NASA and University of Western Ontario all-sky cameras picked up an unusual number of deep-penetrating meteors right here on Earth,” Cooke said. “These fireballs were traveling along nearly identical orbits between Earth and the asteroid belt.”

The Marshall Space Flight Center started the Lunar Impact Monitoring project in part for NASA’s eventual intent to send astronauts back to the moon. When they arrive, they’ll need to know how often meteors impact the surface, and whether certain parts of the year, coinciding with the moon’s passage through crowded bits of the solar system, pose special dangers, reports Space.

“We’ll be keeping an eye out for signs of a repeat performance next year when the Earth-Moon system passes through the same region of space,” Cooke said. “Meanwhile, our analysis of the March 17th event continues.”

Bright Explosion on the Moon

NASA researchers who monitor the Moon for meteoroid impacts have detected the brightest explosion in the history of their program.

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One Response

  1. Frankie says:

    Bad article.

    NASA believes the impact should have left a 20 meter crater, but it has not been verified yet. The lunar reconnaissance satellite isn’t in the right orbit to see it yet.

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