NASA records giant explosion on moon as boulder crashes at 56,000 mph - FoxNews
By Clara Moskowitz
Published May 17, 2013
The moon has a new hole on its surface thanks to a boulder that slammed into it in March, creating the biggest explosion scientists have seen on the moon since they started monitoring it.
The meteorite crashed on March 17, slamming into the lunar surface at a mind-boggling 56,000 mph and creating a new crater 65 feet wide. The crash sparked 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 didn't see the impact occur in real time. It was only when Ron Suggs, an analyst at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., reviewed a video of the bright moon crash recorded by one of the moon monitoring program's 14-inch telescopes that the event was discovered...
...When researchers looked back at their records from March, they found that the moon meteor might not have been an isolated event.
"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."
Though Earth's atmosphere protected our planet's surface from being hit by these meteors, the moon has no such luck...
..."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."
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